The Tipping List
Mastering the Art of Control
If done right, being a control freak can be a great thing for your career
Have you ever been called a micromanager (otherwise known as a control freak)? As bad as it sounds, being a control freak is complementary to your career and will help make you a leader in the long run. There are two kinds of control freaks: The psychotic kind who abuses her power because she herself is disorganized and insecure, and then there’s the cool-as-a-cucumber kind, who knows that a tighter ship is better for everyone involved.
Here’s how to be a control freak who everyone eventually comes to know and love:
1. Stay calm. Successful people have mastered the art of taking control in a smooth, positive way. They don’t bark orders; rather, they communicate their thoughts, behaviors and actions in a clear fashion and stay on top of who is getting what done. They always have a vision, so everyone sees the big picture and knows where the reward lies.
2. Delegate. It’s not possible to do it all yourself – though psycho control freaks have been known to work 20-hour days and on weekends in the name of glory. Rather, a good control freak has learned to teach others who work for them how to execute and to delegate to their team in an effective way.
3. Get a smart phone. It’s not possible to be a control freak by memory alone. David Allen, a personal productivity guru and the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, has developed a management technique that calls for the person to move tasks out of their mind by recording them externally. That way, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done and can concentrate on actually performing those tasks. So you can look like you’re in control without exerting yourself too much.
4. Focus on the plan. Rather than trying to control others and how good they can make you look, focus on the direction of your life and career. Step up and do what’s needed to get recognized, earn praise and earn the rewards.
5. Be a leader. We’re in a time of economic volatility, which undoubtedly extends to the workplace. It is times like these that control freaks are actually in high demand; we want someone to tell us where we are going, guide us on how to get there and clarify who needs to do what in order to achieve the end goal.
If done right, mastering the art of control can be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself and your career.