Lead Management

The William Glasser Institute also works extensively with organizations, corporations, the government and non-profit groups to replace external control psychology with Choice Theory as the psychology that drives the system. In practice, this means moving along a continuum toward lead-management.


Lead managers continually work on the system to create a non-coercive environment which encourages employees to self-evaluate and achieve quality work. The only way any organization is able to achieve this goal of quality rests with the lead manager’s ability to persuade employees to continually upgrade their system of communicating that builds trust and helps employees establish the relationships that lead to quality.

The following grid is one example of how people in any system can self-evaluate where they are on the continuum by using their knowledge of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy. There are a myriad of characteristics that describe management styles so all staff are encouraged to discuss their perception of various characteristics and their impact on the system.

RT/CT Boss Lead Manager Laissez-faire
Relationship – coercive
– need-to-know basis
– externally motivated
– supportive
– transparent,
internally motivated
– input involves others
– uncertain
– everchanging
– inconsistent,
Wants – boss
– my way is the only way
– narrow, few options
– group
– input of group
– broad, many options
– depends on day
– agrees with all
– both ways, varies
Present Behaviors – uses deadly habits
– set rules,
evaluates others- reprisals
– uses caring habits
– involves group
– uses criteria, improves system
– combines both
– says okay
– unclear, does both/none
Evaluation – system of punishment
– criteria set by boss
– develops system of self/co-verification
– criteria by leaders/workers
– never the same
– inconsistent
Plan – sets deadlines
– sets new rules
– involvement based on strengths
– workers’ input appreciated
– what is deemed necessary at the time
– depends on the circumstances