Control is an Illusion


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We all want to feel like we’re in control. It’s safe and comfortable place. It’s also a position of power. If we control a product line or a department – we feel more important. If we control an entire business – we’re even more powerful. Controlling a country, or a business the size of some countries, well, that must make us ultra powerful.

Not really.

That thinking is all part of an illusion. There really is little we can control – other than ourselves (sometimes).

I think it’s propagated by human kind in the hope of finding some sanity in the midst of the ebb, flow and sometimes all-hell-breaking-loose journey that is life.

Many of the clients I work with are companies that are in need of a startaround or full- blow turnaround. They’ve stalled, a product is lost in search of a market or they’ve crashed and burned and are looking for a new horizon, the chance to rise like a Phoenix out of the ashes.

Yet they all share some common behaviors. One is Gravity – the need to hang on to the way they’ve always done it or thunk it, the hanging onto the known even as the walls come crumbling down.

They also all share the illusion of control. Within the business, there is one person, or multiple parties, who are so focused on hanging onto their turf that they have virtually abandoned all business reason. They’ve certainly abandoned the reality that business success is the priority.

They’re caught in the Gravity of Control, darned near obsessed with hanging onto their turf, their position of power, at all costs. They’ll thrash against all options for help, bite the hand that could save them – all to retain that feeling of control. Even if it means the business loses.

Maybe it’s pride, maybe it’s fear – it’s certainly some form of insanity that takes hold. But everyone loses when control becomes the priority, in our personal or our business lives.

The reality is that we can’t control our environment; the economy, our buyers, families, partners or neighbors, the waiter at the restaurant, the valet with our car or airplane mechanic fixing the problem. Often we can’t even control ourselves.

I’m learning that success comes from letting go of control.

Instead of hanging onto what we know, we let go of our knowns, trust in our experience and “go with the flow”, trusting that whatever comes our way – we can and will succeed. Knowing that whatever customer shift or economic jive is thrown our way – we can and will apply our expertise to find a new path to success.

So here’s yet another dichotomy in the form of Gravity to think about.

Our power isn’t in how much we control around us.

Our power is in how much we let go – and trust ourselves and our expertise.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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