What can you really control?

We often get caught up in worrying about what we can and cannot control in the world of business. These thoughts can lead to us feeling overwhelmed and stressed if we aren’t careful. 

As much as we want to have control over every single aspect of our businesses, the truth is: there are so many things that are outside of our circle of control. These things still need to happen, but ultimately, we do not have direct control over whether or not they actually happen.

Not sure what this means? Here are a few examples of a likely situation and a potential way to handle it.

  • We can’t really make people do anything. People operate via free will.
  • We can only suggest and ask that people do certain things. It all boils down to that person’s choice. If a person decides the task at hand isn’t important or beneficial, then they can decide not to complete said task. 

    In instances like this, clearly communicating expectations, priorities, and importance; as well as giving timely feedback when things do not happen as planned can help improve your ability to positively impact people’s choices on the work that they. 

    • Sometimes systems and technology that we’ve configured to work a certain way don’t work like we expected.  
    • In today’s world, we rely heavily on technology to operate our businesses. What happens when these systems don’t do what we expect? They go offline, they crash – sometimes they just don’t work properly. 

    There needs to be disaster and recovery plans and service level agreements in place to handle any unforeseen issues.  

    • You think customers will buy, but there’s a shift in the market and people go in a different direction that keeps them from buying.
    • When your customers’ needs change, it’s important that you continue to study and analyze the market. Try to uncover what exactly caused the market shift so you’re better prepared for any future changes. 

    Be a constant student of your market. Constantly evolve. This way, you can fully understand how your business can provide value to your audience and your business remains relevant. 

    • Acts of God, like a global pandemic or other unexpected crisis.
    • This one might be the epitome of things that are out of our control. If there’s one thing COVID-19 taught us, it’s the fact that we can’t predict the future.

    From a business standpoint, remember to be flexible and agile. When you’re willing to adapt to unexpected changes, your business is more likely to see success in the end. 

    With so many things we cannot control, we can get immobilized by fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. What can we really do?

    For the most part, we have control of our reactions, our response, our attitude, our actions, our focused intent, and our emotions. We get to determine how we will show up in an environment and work with others. Oftentimes, how we work and how we lead sets the intentions and expectations for all involved.

    Take charge of yourself and you will have the best impact possible on others and work in your charge.

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