Why Being a Control Freak Isn't So Bad

Last Updated Jun 23, 2008 2:23 PM EDT

    Dr. Octopus, the Ultimate Control Freak
    1. The Find: The term control freak isn't usually considered a compliment, but one executive coach feels that the tendency to crave control actually offers significant advantages in business.
    2. The Source: Cheryl Cran writing on the Brazen Careerist blog.
    The Takeaway: Cran acknowledges that business people can take their desire for control too far, but she asserts that, in moderation, being a control freak is actually a positive attribute. Why?
    1. Control freaks control their thoughts. This means they know what they want and can focus on their goals without distracting what-ifs and how-abouts.
    2. Control freaks actually execute: no dreamy planning and little follow through for them.
    3. Control freaks don't wait for things to happen to them (can't control luck and coincidence). Instead, they take positive action to get the things they want.
    4. Focus, focus, focus.
    5. Stability during change: team members can be sure that control freaks have their eye on the ball (or all the balls in the air) and this can make it easier for everyone to get through periods of change with a minimum of stress.
    Just make sure that before you give yourself permission to unleash your inner control freak that you're keeping your tendencies toward micromanagement within reason -- it's noteworthy that all of the advantages mentioned by Cran involve control freaks controlling either themselves or those who actually want to be controlled (nervous employees in times of change). With that caveat, Cran closes her blog posts with a rousing call for control freak pride: "If someone calls you a control freak, don't freak out. Instead... stand proud!"

    The Question: Working with a control freak -- useful of dreadful?

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      Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.