“Just hold on loosely
Most businesses have multiple stakeholders; the number and type grow along with the business. Whether you’re leading a business unit or the overall enterprise, there are decision-making levels and thresholds that come into play. It’s wise to be clear about what those criteria are, because leadership and relationship issues are bound to arise without knowing them.
“Control” depends upon the proven skill and experience of individuals and is expressed through the degree of autonomy that is granted to them. The bigger and more complex the issue is, the more likely that the decision-making authority will escalate and involve more people who can bring their expertise to bear on the situation. Autocratic leaders will find themselves most uncomfortable in such scenarios, because they are accustomed to having absolute “control”. Entrepreneurial leaders who are accustomed to involving others who work under them might suddenly be out of their comfort zone when they find themselves in a situation where other stakeholders expect to have a voice in the discussion.
Ironically, the more tightly a leader tries to hold on, the more likely they will lose the very control they desire. If they cling too tightly, others will lose trust and confidence and control will slip through their fingers. Control is an elusive thing. Those who demonstrate confidence and credibility through their past decisions, and stay actively engaged in exploring options, earn greater roles in making future ones.
Even if a leader is that “person at the top” of the pyramid and holds the ultimate deciding vote, the likelihood of making an optimum decision is vastly increased when others are invited to share and explain their viewpoints. As more people contribute to and understand the decision dynamics, they are much more likely to support the outcome. You never know what clever and unexpected solutions may emerge. After all, “none of us is as smart as all of us”.
So “Hold on Loosely, but don’t let go. If you cling too tightly, you’re gonna’ lose control.”