Never surrender your control. The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is trying to lose control over the critical aspects of your business like talent acquition and retention, customer relationships and quality service delivery.
Any business leader must identify areas where they must win. Thereafter, invest to win. And then protect the win so that it is sustainable.
In your family for the example, if you are the husband or the head of the family, you must identify the top 2-4 things which you must control. Once you lose control over those areas, you lose your family, and everything will fall apart. You must not lose control over disciplining the children. Never lose control over your managing the relationship with your partner. Never lose control over values in your home – school comes first, then entertainment. If the kids are doing badly in school, no rewards in form of entertainment UNLESS they demonstrate progress, etc.
Sometimes, we find ourselves giving some people control. We bring them into our space. Suddenly, they suck all our energy and start taking us on a ride. That is a tell-tale sign of a bad leader.
From a strategic point of view, the leader must identify the key influencers and the critical areas to influence. They must then manage the power dynamics such that the influencers are always on their side and once they see a shift in allegiance, they must act instantly and decisively if they are to retain their control.
For example, if the biggest source of your company’s revenue is quality graphics, accounting for over 80% of your income out of the three products you. The person who oversees graphics or manages the graphics clients is critical to your business. That person must be the leaders focus if the leader is to retain control over the entire team. If such person decided to undermine the leader or shift allegiance, the company may suddenly collapse, or the leader will lose power.
This idea works in all areas of life from politics to corporate business. Creating and retaining power is the leader’s role. And it requires strategic thinking NOT operational thinking.
For example, reduce the power of the key influencer by sending them on leave so that you demonstrate a clear succession plan. Have in place plan B and the terminate the key influencer who is feared by all so that you get even more respect.
Get the other person whom other people fear and make them wait for you for hours so that you demonstrate your ‘size.’ That is how the power game is played and you are sure to keep it for a very long period.
In your company or home, you can easily make this happen. Get someone and give them too much power. Let them feel a level of ‘invincibility’ to the extent they start forgetting that they got the powers they have from you. Then have someone report their abuse of the power to you.
Call them in the presence of others and chop off their powers without mercy. That will give you respect. That is how mafia leaders are feared. They create someone. Give the recruit lots of power. Only to trim it instantly before the assembly of all.
The fact is, when you get a person who has never been in power, and give them too much of it, they end up misusing the right. That is why this idea works like magic.
When you lose control and give it to the other person, getting it back is a big challenge. When someone has had a taste of power, they tend to try to retain it completely at the expense of the person who gave it to them.
Remember, if you are able to give some power, make sure that you remain with the master key. Once you give away the power, getting it back is very difficult. People who get power they do not deserve, often abuse it significantly.
In your leadership, make sure that people who get the power have gotten the training to be able to appreciate it. Otherwise, they will become a thorn in your flesh. Have plan B to retain it when you see it necessary.
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