Leadership and Management

What Happens If Leaders are in the Driver’s Seat?

In the business world, leaders play a really important role. They’re like the captains of a ship, guiding their teams to success and helping them overcome challenges. But sometimes, leaders can take too much control, and that’s not a good thing. Instead of being in charge all the time, leaders should focus on helping their team members grow and do their best.

What does it mean to be in the driver’s seat?

Being in the driver’s seat entails assuming complete control over all aspects, including decision-making and responsibilities. While this position of authority can offer benefits such as direction and leadership, shouldering all responsibilities alone can bring disadvantages to themselves and the team.

Missed out opportunities for growth and innovation

When a leader focuses solely on their own agenda and does not actively engage in strategic networking to explore new business opportunities, they may overlook valuable connections and insights that could drive growth and innovation within the organization. Not only that, they may not be able to receive diverse perspectives from their team since they are only focused on reaching their own goals. When this happens, leaders will miss out on fresh ideas or insights that may improve their products or services for the business.

Decrease in productivity

People who are working in a team need to feel empowered by the person who leads. However, when a leader is in the driver’s seat, other people won’t have a chance to make their own choices or make improvements. This can stifle creativity within the team and they also do not feel like they own their work. This makes them feel unsatisfied and may prevent them from doing the job quickly or better.

Lack engagement from the team

Often, leaders who are in the driver seat control everything, which contributes to micromanaging. Those not in a leadership position must follow every decision that has been made by the leader. This creates a hierarchical and authoritarian environment where team members feel disempowered, undervalued, and lack autonomy. Hence, it is impossible for the team to communicate about their concerns openly or suggest any insightful ideas. This is because they know that even if they voice out their opinion or suggestions, they will be dismissed. Micromanaging also means that the team members will not be involved in the decision-making process. This results in decreased motivation and disengagement from the team.

Risk of not being relevant in the marketplace

When leaders hold a dominant position, they may focus more on maintaining their current status than adapting to changing market dynamics or emerging innovations. This lack of agility and responsiveness to market shifts can lead to a loss of relevance over time, as competitors who are more adaptive and innovative may surpass them.

Toxic work culture

When a leader is too focused on making decisions by themselves, they may be disconnected from the team. As a result, they will fail to notice unpleasant behaviours in the company and can set a negative tone when communicating. This occurs due to the amount of pressure and responsibilities that they carry. This can affect the organization’s culture, impacting employee morale, well-being, and overall organizational performance.

What should a leader be?

Instead of being a driver, leaders should be facilitators, mentors, and enablers. This will not only overburden the leaders but also contribute to a powerful team. This is because it will encourage the people in the team to make decisions and set goals themselves. When they take charge by being the drivers, the people in the team will be able to promote self-awareness and accountability for their decisions. This approach will then help nurture future leaders within the organization, which can bring significant benefits.


When a leader is put in the driver’s seat, they miss out on a lot of things because they only focus on the things they think they should be. This result does not only affect the team members but also the overall growth and performance of the company.

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