Command vs Control

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 0 clicked here to leave a comment
Every Tuesday in our regular meeting, the NLC staff takes a look at a key leadership principle or two. It is one of my favorite times of the week - I love teaching about leadership and interacting with leadership ideas. Plus, our staff has a higher than average number of great leaders.

The principle we are focusing on now is "command versus control", which is a military term.

The leader has to know when to lead directively and when to trust.

In the field, a commander is responsible to set the objectives for the battle and to design a strategy and to define the rules of engagement. But he cannot be involved in tactics and split-second decisions in the heat of battle.

A commander has to trust those on the ground, involved in the action, to use their own wits, creativity, and innovation.

Same thing in leadership.

The leader has certain areas he or she has to "command" - issues related to values, mission, and visions. But when a leader tries to "control" day to day decisions he or she is wasting the leadership potential of others who know more about on the ground conditions than the leader does anyway!

We are doing our best to create a leadership culture at NLC where our pastoral staff majors on the command issues of our mission and core values but allows our volunteer leaders maximum freedom to get the job done using their own unique gifts and abilities and to give maximum room for innovation and creativity - if you are around here, let us know how we are doing!

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