Leadership Series – Sourcing Approval, Control and Security

CPA Blog |

As humans, we cannot escape the basic needs for approval, control, and security, no matter how hard we try.  They are just an intrinsic part of our human nature.

If you think about it, most of our wants are a version of these three basic desires.  For example:

I want my children to do well in school:

  • I’m afraid that if they don’t do well they won’t be able to support themselves as adults (security)
  • What will other people say about me as a mom if my kids don’t do well in school? (approval)
  • I don’t want my children, or myself, to suffer (control)

While it sounds lovely in this example, to want your children to do well in school, the issue is that you are actually sourcing your need for approval, control, and security to others.  In essence, you are making your children and other people responsible for meeting those needs.

When you believe that you don’t have those three core needs met, it will cause you to seek them outside yourself.  Unfortunately, when you outsource your need for approval, control and security, you give your power away – in a big way.

Although these core needs might be part of your human nature, it’s still important to understand how they drive your actions and the behavior of others.  In order to truly be a good leader, you need to first understand yourself and take responsibility for how these basic needs of approval, control, and security show up in your actions.

The key is also understanding that anything you want is because of how you believe it will make you feel, and that you can always create that feeling on purpose without needing anyone or anything to be different.  The feelings of approval, of control, and of security are all available to you without needing to outsource it elsewhere.

When you give yourself permission to meet those core needs yourself, you become a mature, powerful leader.  By becoming an example to others, you teach them how to meet their own core needs as well.

Be willing to become aware of how you are sourcing your need for approval, control, and security.  If it’s not from you, then you have some work to do. 

Great leaders source approval, control, and security from themselves, not from others – are you outsourcing approval, control, and security?

Let’s be honest – the world needs better leaders at work and at home.  Are you ready to become a better leader?

Source – “The 15 Commitments Of Conscious Leadership”