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How controlling is the environment in which you lead?

That’s a great question, isn’t it?

I’ve previously written about controlling leadership. I tried to help you discern controlling leaders in THIS POST. I shared some ways to confront a controlling leader in THIS POST. And I shared some results of controlling leadership HERE.

But, what about the organization itself? How do you know if it’s controlling?

How well would you say new ideas flourish? Or do they?

You would want to know, wouldn’t you?

But, how do you?

Want to test yourself or your organization?

Ask yourself:

Do ideas determine systems?


Do systems control ideas?

Here is another set of questions with the same thought:

When someone has a new idea, do you adapt, tweak, and create systems to support them?


Do you decide whether or not the idea can survive based on your current systems?

Think about it. In a controlling environment, an idea can flourish only if there are systems to support the idea. In a less controlling environment, they create systems around the ideas…systems to make the ideas work.

Which is most true of your organization?

This doesn’t mean there won’t be ideas that aren’t a fit for the purpose, culture or DNA of the organization.

But, don’t let systems stifle creativity.

Let vision control your ability to move forward…not systems.

How would you discern a controlling environment?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Guest says:

    It's odd. In one ministry, my ideas are respected, valued, and sometimes implemented. In another, where I usually volunteer most of my time, my ideas are like helium leaking out of a balloon. They get put out there, but they don't land. I also noticed that my interest only means in the leader's eyes that I want to fill another volunteer position. If I am willing to volunteer my time to implement my idea, my leader uses it to utilize me for something else she needs. Discouraging to say the least. I want to grow and become excellent in what I do, but I have to seek training on my own. There is very little offered. I want to be part of the planning, vision-casting, and creative process, but apparently my input is not wanted. It's a bummer considering that I excelled in other churches in the same type of ministry.