Nine Questions About Leadership and Control

by Rich Dixon on October 27, 2009

 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.” [Luke 9:46-48] 

follow-me-bible-close-upAre you a leader?

It’s a rhetorical question, and the answer is YES. We’re all leaders. We all influence others at work, in our homes, at church, and in social settings. The real question is how we deploy our influence.

I watched this entertaining video of Itay Talgam talking about leadership in the context of an orchestra conductor. The video’s about twenty minutes long, and makes some great points about leadership. If you want to watch, go ahead. I’ll wait.

The video raised some interesting questions for me about leadership, influence, and control. Here are some of mine, and I hope you’ll share others.

  • Am I influencing others “toward” or “away from” the ideas I value?
  • Is influence a zero-sum game, or is it possible that I gain influence by giving it away?
  • Am I experiencing the joy of helping others pursue and achieve excellence?
  • Am I threatened by the prospect of enabling and empowering others?
  • Can I lead with less control?
  • Am I using members of my circle to meet my needs (I hope not!) or am I genuinely concerned with developing partnerships and helping others?
  • How much of leadership is technique and how much is about attitude and heart?
  • Can I guide a process without controlling people?

The best line of the talk occurred right at the end: If you love something, give it away.

What are some of your questions or observations about leadership, control, and influence?

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