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Control Without Controlling – Lessons for Leaders
Categories: Leadership

In his blog Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds points to a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk by conductor Itay Talgam. He makes a great analogy between a conductor who must control without controlling and leadership. Excerpts below. See the whole talk at

I want to know: What leaders inspire you?

“As a leader — in business, education, or design — how much control do you need? How much can you give up? Is control even the right word? Is it possible to lead without leading?

* Can you lead with less control or a different kind of control?

* Must “control” be a zero-sum game?

* Is there joy in leading by helping other people tell their own stories?

* Is leadership only about technique or is it more about meaning?

* Are we using team members, employees, or students as instruments for our own ends or are they viewed as partners, where their development is a central consideration for us?

* Is not leadership also about creating the processes, structure, and conditions that allow team members to perform autonomously? Can you still be “in control” and let people be/feel free? Can the structure create the conditions for that freedom?”

Posted by Kathy Sandler on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 12:01 AM

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