• Loyal
  • Conscientious
  • Detail-oriented
  • Anticipates problems

Controllers are self-disciplined and fast-paced— always driving themselves to get things right. Controllers are typically straightforward, responsible, and factual. They work hard to develop technical expertise, respect authority, and operate within established guidelines.

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Characteristics of a Controller

Natural Strengths

  • Loyal
  • Conscientious
  • Detail-oriented
  • Anticipates problems

Common Drivers

  • Autonomy in problem solving
  • Room for introspection
  • Opportunities to work at a fast pace
  • Understanding of rules and regulations

Blind Spots

  • Skeptical of new people
  • Difficulty delegating authority
  • Can be resistant to change
  • May appear brusque

The Controller on a team

Controllers are specialists. They’re known to be thorough in all training and policies. They thrive in and help contribute to a culture that values efficiency and detailed work. Teams are often designed by default rather than intention. A strategic, data-driven approach to building teams is what helps organizations win.

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Managing a Controller

Often managers try to manage everyone the same way—and that’s usually the way they like to be managed. But this approach can backfire. People like to be managed differently—and it may not always be in a way that comes naturally to you. Even beyond the individual needs, teams require different leadership styles. You wouldn’t manage a sales team the same way you’d manage a team of developers.

When working with Controllers, remember that they’re likely to be thorough, conservative, impatient, and self-disciplined. They’re typically less effective when project guidelines are ambiguous and the work environment is constantly changing. Controllers are strong at executing highly specialized, detailed work. When managing this profile, consider some of the following suggestions:

  • Give them specifics.
  • Provide opportunities to work at a fast pace.
  • Allow them to make autonomous decisions.
  • Stay on track and on time.
  • Provide them with a clear definition of responsibilities and authority.
  • Explain changes taking place and how they’ll be rolled out.
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