Last week, I shared my story of planning and hosting a family reunion. How something so “once-in-a-life-time” became stressful. There’s more to discover.
As a recovering perfectionist, my desire for everything to be “perfect” casually slipped into trying to control.
You and I know that the demand for perfection is a flawed approach and yet it tempts us to force our view on others. Unchecked, it leads to unproductive behaviors (micro-managing, poor delegation, power plays, etc.) and loss of influence.
The solution I presented in “What if you don’t let go?” is summed up as: Plan. Prepare. Release. “Let it go.”
How do you get there from here?
Overwhelmed with caring
What happens when you care too much?
The issue is not that you don’t care; rather it is that you do care and when pressed you can “care too much.”
To “care” simply means you are concerned, you want something to happen, and usually it’s important. The vulnerability comes with caring too much. When we care too much, we try to control too much.
Driven by fear
When caring becomes a state of mind in which you are troubled or filled with worry, anxiety, or concern, it is natural to seek control. Fear drives such an unproductive effort of leaders!
If threatened, it’s normal to fight or take flight. However, when you recognize the fear (i.e. – worry, anxiety, concern) you can move toward another option beyond fight or flight — and that is to engage.
Freedom to involve others (engage) protects you from the urge to (try to) control others or the situation.
Engaging others requires a certain willingness to “Let it go.” This does not mean you don’t care. Actually, it suggests you care enough to involve others and not shut them out.
Whether the opportunity is to host a family reunion or that big project at work … you do have to care, but not too much.
Caring, too much
Caring too much leads to a forfeiture of self-control in the determined effort to control. Such behaviors hinder a leader’s influence and explain why their leadership is resisted and restricted.
Who do you know that desires to be “controlled” by another person? Since birth, why have you resisted being told what to do? At work, when do you want to be micro-managed?
One challenge of the human condition is this need to exercise self-control. Still, the illusion continues … people lacking in self-control think they can control others.
A perfectionist believes things can be perfect or demands things to be perfect. Ah, but who defines “perfect”?
Again, the danger of caring too much is where it leads when someone has a differing view.
“Let it go.”
Leadership is not Control
The objective of leadership is not control but influence.
Pick your Story.
Where do you find yourself caring too much?
Where do you need to “Let it go?”
Here’s to your next level…