Overcoming the “Control Freak” syndrome

Control Freak

Control Freak

Have you ever heard of the term “control freak.” It is often given to an individual who must have their hands in everything that is happening in the organization.  Control freaks like to control decisions, projects and other people.  They somehow feel that things will not get done without their attention.

The problem with control freaks is that they hold back the organization and individuals on their team.  They never let anyone shine, because they are controlling every aspect of the organization.

Are you a control freak?  Maybe you are if you:

* Have a hard time delegating
It is difficult for you to let go of projects to other team members.  You want to keep your hands around every project, never allowing anyone else to play a part or to let them lead.

*  Always need to be right
You go to great lengths to prove yourself right to other team members.  You cannot humble yourself enough to admit you’re wrong or that your idea wasn’t the best choice.

*  Need to make every decision
You read every letter, approve every expenditure, oversee every project and never trust anyone else to operate on their own.

*  Require constant updates
You continually request updates on every project.  Your desire is not to keep others accountable but to keep yourself in the loop.

*  Dominate conversations
You rarely let anyone else talk.  You control most every conversation and never let anyone else state their opinion or suggestion.

If these statements ring true to you, then you may have a control problem.  Thus, your effectiveness as a leader or team player is being limited.  Here are some suggestions to help you overcome the “control freak” syndrome.

a)  Trust your team members
You must learn to trust your team members and believe in their qualifications.  If you cannot learn to trust them, you will always doubt them, which will lead to re-enforcing the control issue in your life.  Trust people, believe in them, allow them to shine.

b)  Offer suggestions don’t demand them
It is fine to give your thoughts and opinions and there are those times when you must step to the plate and make a tough decision.  Most often however, you should be simply offering suggestions and letting your team members soar with their strengths.

c)  Focus on your strengths
You are not good at everything.  Find the 2-3 things you do well and focus on those strengths.  Let those around you shine where you are weak.  This will enhance your potential and give others a chance to grow.

These are just a few suggestions to help you overcome being a “control freak.”  If you are a true leader, this may be an issue for you.  However, do not ignore the issue, deal with it and grow from it.  Do what you do best and let others do the rest.

Until next time,

Chris Sonksen


“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is
knowing how to get along with people.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Chris Sonksen is a celebrated Motivational Speaker and Published Author; the Lead Pastor at one of America’s fastest growing churches (South Hills Church in Corona California); and the founding member of Celera Church Strategy Group. Celera offers pastor support, teaching, training and mentoring programs that equip pastors who want to learn how to grow church attendance through evangelism using proven church growth techniques.


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on May 30, 2009, in Developing Healthy Churches, Leadership, Personal Growth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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