Focusing On What You Can Control is Costing You

1024px-Plateau_d'emparis,_(2250_m.)_cairn Cropped

It is often said that we should focus only on the things we can control.

And I believe that… to a point.

I agree that there are things that are out of our control and that in a lot of those situations, our stress and frustration is poorly placed.

On the other hand, I think we also have a duty to influence the things that we are capable of changing. Otherwise, we’d always be saying things like “Welp, that’s just not something we can control. We can’t influence those decisions so we just go with it”.

That’s just a dressed up way of saying “I don’t know I just work here”, or “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

And that grosses me out.

Variations of the statements above are probably the worst news for you and your organization. If you want to find out why your organization is lagging behind its competitors, bleeding its high potential employees and not innovating, you can start by finding out how often these statements ring true.

Are you making it far too easy to roll with the punches? Are you incentivizing going with the flow, or not rocking the boat instead of innovating? Is it better to be among the silent masses than to stand out by challenging the status quo (especially when it isn’t performing)?

If you aren’t sure, the place to find out isn’t always your employee engagement survey. If it’s gone on long enough, it’s in your financial statements.


Image credit: By Dominicus Johannes Bergsma (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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