Cross Axis Relationships: Control and Influence

Market Force principles tell us that opposite styles tend to work the easiest together as you get one offensive and one defensive, one thought oriented and one action oriented, style per set.  

This does not mean that the cross axis relationships are impossible, just that those tend to take longer to create.  If you can create one, it is typically an advantage to your business performance.

Let’s look in depth at the relationship between Control and Influence, which tends to be the most difficult relationship to create in the Market Force model.

The downside between Control and Influence has to do with the very nature of each style.  Controls see themselves as directors and they often tell others what they should do.  Influences are free spirits, and the thought of having to do what someone else says typically looks a bit worse than death (ie, prison).  Further, Controls are more thought oriented, while Influences tend to be more action oriented – meaning that Influences can drive Controls crazy with their “ready, fire, aim approach.”

In the end, often you will hear from Controls that they do not trust Influences (the language pattern will literally be, “that guy is out of control). Influences will then rebuff Controls because they feel they are being told what to do.  Again, this relationship is many times the toughest to create.

When it does get created, it is an extremely powerful relationship.

If a Control can learn to give some direction, but then stop trying to micro manage every move of an Influence, that can go a long way to the relationship coming together.  On the other hand, if an Influence can learn how to let Controls provide that bit of strategic direction so that their action is more targeted, then the team gets more strategic thought and more creative action than either style will typically produce by himself, which is a great offense in the game of business.

Once again, all cross axis relationships are possible and arise often in the game.  They just take a bit longer typically to produce.  Keep working at them, they are a strategic advantage once created!

About the Author / Travis Carson
Travis Carson
Travis Carson is the Founder of Market Force. Having learned the guiding principles behind Market Force at the age of 19, Travis has used the material himself to help run four different companies, before moving into a training and coaching role in 2008 in order to share the material with others. Travis is a former nationally ranked junior tennis player, a seven-time nationally ranked triathlete, a three-time Ironman finisher and the father of four children.