Michael Hyatt wrote a post on which is more important, influence or control when leading. It’s actually pretty obvious, since no one person truly controls another, except through threats, which eventually lose their power.
He says, “However, while you can’t control anyone (except perhaps yourself), you can influence nearly everyone.”
Unfortunately, that’s a very true statement.
I say unfortunately because I don’t believe that the ability to lead/influence is linked to any particular ethical stance.
He continues, “By this definition, Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King were great leaders. They had control of virtually no one, yet their influence changed the course of history.”
The same can be said for Genghis Kahn and Hitler, it was their ability to influence and draw people to their views that underlay all they did.
A few days ago I wrote that while ethical stances seem the same, the definitions change with the times—“Universally, murder has always been considered bad, but what constitutes murder is ever changing.”
You need to recognize that
- leaders are not by definition “good;”
- they aren’t always positive role models;
- one person’s “good” leader is another person’s demon; and that
- there are always at least two sides to any subject or person.
Knowing this, it’s up to you to choose the one that “fits” you best.