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Control

For me this is the hardest thin g to let go of; control. Control of the timing. Control of the people. Control of the outcome. Control of the process…. And I really have very limited control.

Even in those times when I had 100’s of people reporting to me, I had limited control. They had roles and responsibilities but most often imperfect metrics were used to measure productivity, quality, initiative. Some succeeded, wildly succeeded playing a different game. Some failed, dramatically failed trying to game me and the system. Most fell into mediocrity because of the struggle between my trying to control and their inability to march to their own drum.

Daniel Pink says people are motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose after they are receiving sufficient income to cover their needs and some of their desires (about $75k). I don’t know what order they need the three things (I suspect purpose is first) but I have witnessed remarkable changes when I have stepped aside and let coworkers, direct reports, colleagues, family, friends figure out how they wish to proceed after they understand the parameters and expectations.

In the grand scheme of the universe, I only have control of my actions and I am often skeptical about how much control I really have. In my personal life I get to make hundreds of choices and take hundreds of actions every day, most of my own design. In collegial or relational situations I now understand I have way less sway than I once thought. Knowing doesn’t make it easier to let go but I am continuing to figure out ways to make it less stressful.

Make Today Remarkable, by giving away some control,

B

 

 

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