Lead More, Control Less
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More About This Title Lead More, Control Less


Unleash Commitment, Initiative, and Innovation

In their decades of leading groups all over the world, Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff discovered they could get superior results by creating an unconventional approach to leadership. Leaders still need to get everyone aligned around the same goals. But to maximize energy, creativity, and productivity, they gain more by focusing on structure rather than behavior, enabling people to take responsibility and manage themselves. 

Lead More, Control Less describes eight essential skills for establishing a culture of autonomy and self-leadership. Using examples and case studies, Weisbord and Janoff describe how leaders can share responsibility, defuse group conflicts, show everyone the big picture, and more. With this approach, leaders truly gain more control by giving it up.


Marvin Weisbord is an international consultant with more than fifty years’ experience with large corporations, NGOs, and nonprofits. He is the author of Organizational Diagnosis and Productive Workplaces and the editor and coauthor of Discovering Common Ground. Weisbord and Janoff founded Future Search Network, an international collaborative of volunteers who deliver strategic planning services worldwide in any language for any culture. They also coauthored Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! and three editions of Future Searc


Introduction: Self Control Is the Best Control
Control Structure, Not People
Let Everyone Be Responsible
Consider Anxiety “Blocked Excitement”
Avoid “Taking It Personally”
Disrupt Fight or Flight
Include the Right People
Experience the “Whole Elephant”
Surface Unspoken Agreements
Epilogue: What's Next for Leaders?
Appendix A: Practicing Percept Language
Appendix B: Leading in Cyberspace
About the Authors


“As a firm believer in overturning convention, I want to endorse this radical approach to leadership. Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff provide insight, guidance, and support for leaders who practice what I call ‘conscious leadership' while aspiring to make a positive difference and enable people to grow. I highly recommend this book to fellow leaders on this journey.”
—John Mackey, cofounder and co-CEO, Whole Foods

“Controlling people never makes great things happen. I have found that applying the principles in this book takes patience, time, and imagination. The result is always rewarding and well worth the effort.”
—Jesper Brodin, Global Head of Range and Supply, IKEA

“For over two decades I have applied Weisbord and Janoff's principles in making public policy and practicing good governance. Theirs is not just a way of leading others but a way of living life more fully.”
—Aideen McGinley, Northern Ireland Trustee, BBC Trust, and Trustee, Carnegie UK Trust