Cross Axis: Authority and Control

Cross Axis: Authority and Control

Market Force principles tell us that opposite styles tend to work the easiest together as you get one offensive and one defensive, and 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 Authority and Control, the two thought-oriented styles in the Market Force model.

Controls and Authorities tend to have a lot in common. They are both thought-oriented and competence-based when it comes to trust.  The major difference between the two comes down to time-frame, and therein lies the potential downside.  

Controls tend to focus more on ideas for the future. Authorities tend to focus more on wanting evidence of how things will turn out.

So, a Control will be convinced he is right about his new idea while an Authority will be convinced she can prove the idea wrong.  Because both are thought-oriented, they can fight for months over who is actually right, and miss a market opportunity.   

As for the upside, a strong working relationship between Authority and Control can be a very successful one for their respective prosperity.  

Controls can ask Authorities to take a look at the past to find where other ideas failed or where certain projects were unsuccessful and why.  This can give Controls just a bit of guidance to make sure that they don’t take a team down a tunnel with no cheese.  The Authority will then need to learn to let go and allow the Control to make a decision and a declaration about what we are going to do. Authorities tend to struggle with this aspect more than all of the other styles.  This allows for less mistakes and more forward momentum than either style will produce left to their own devices.

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.