What’s Under the Disguise?


by on May 27, 2020 4:00 PM

Are You in Control or Hiding Behind a Disguise

I’m a control freak. This comes to no surprise to the many people I have worked with throughout the years. I like making decisions and guiding my own destiny. It’s one of the reasons why I started my first business at the age of 27 and continue to be an entrepreneur.

So, can you imagine how difficult the uncertainty of Covid-19 is for me? If you run a business, I’m sure you can relate. Many business owners, even those who are not fully self-aware, admit to possessing this characteristic. Actually, if you define being controlling as wanting to realize a particular outcome, then all of us should label ourselves as control freaks. As with any personality trait, however, there’s a dark side hidden under the disguise.

Often, owners (and their leadership teams) will express frustration about their employees and will try to justify their “control freak behavior” such as micro-managing and/or completely taking over. The reasons for their actions boil down to a belief that no one, other than themselves, can get the job done. I’m sure in some instances that this rings true, but is that the case all the time?

Think about this: Do you want to be in control or are you just disguising your own lack of trust and fear?

I have found that a lack of trust and fear is the real reason for not letting go. I know this because I have lived it and for me, it is a current struggle due to the uncertainty of these times. I have to make a conscious choice to change my behavior to my team; here are my suggestions to get over this hurdle:

Step 1. Understand the difference between what you should be doing vs. what you should be delegating.

Step 2. When you feel hesitant about releasing control, tell your team or the employee you’re working with about your reluctance.

Step 3. Come up with action steps that your team or employee can do which will help alleviate your lack of trust. For instance, your team could alert you when a task is complete.

Practicing these steps over time will build up your sense of trust. It will also allow you to seize control in the appropriate moments. Believe me, your employees will be grateful when the disguise comes off.


About Hal Levenson

Hal Levenson is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform.  We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: Financial, Strategy & People.