I was recently asked in an interview, “Do you consider yourself a control freak?”

“Without a doubt,” I responded. “I love control, demand control, lust for it, and make sure I have it. The only people who don’t like control are those who don’t have it or who have misused it in the past.”

All of my role models growing up were outgoing, aggressive, charismatic, and willing to exert control. I was attracted to the idea that the person who was in control had the power, called the shots, and made the decisions.

Who doesn’t love and admire the person in control, the superhero who puts himself at risk in order to solve problems, protect people, and save the world? James Bond, for example, has all the great equipment, slick suits, and hot women. He is also always in charge, willing to disregard authority to do the right thing, and more dangerous than the bad guys.

I couldn’t wait to grow up and be in charge. My dad was a control artist; he wielded his control like a hammer and didn’t put up with any nonsense, at least at home. This made our environment safe; we knew who was in control and who was the leader. He knew where he was going and what he expected from himself and others, had an unbelievable work ethic, loved people, and believed being successful was his duty. He commanded respect and demanded discipline from his kids. And my older brother, Curtis, adopted a lot of that swag. He was strong, fast, super articulate, confident, and one of the most natural politicians I’ve ever met. I idolized him.

I have no idea if either saw himself as a “leader.” But they definitely influenced people’s behavior, even if they didn’t have a formal title.

Be great,


This is a chapter excerpt from Be Obsessed or Be Average, coming out October 11th, 2016.


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