There have been times this week – many times I will admit! – that I have felt out of control of my own destiny; or more to the point, out of control of my own business. I think we all have stages like this, particularly when we are in a stage of transition or growth, and are dependent on others to assist us in our journey to where we ultimately want to be – which is, of course, succeeding, in one way or another.
This can cause enormous frustration and place strains on business relationships and friendships. It can make us question our judgement and that of the people we surround ourselves with. Put in the most basic terms, it can cause us to lose faith in what we are doing.
If this is happening to you, you need to stop, think, and do what I did this morning, which may seem a bit weird but bear with me.
I thought of myself as the President of the United States (I told you it was a bit weird).
President Harry S Truman famously kept a sign on his desk in the Oval Office which said ‘THE BUCK STOPS HERE’. And he was absolutely spot on. Responsibility began, and ended, with him. No matter what, you can only be responsible for your own actions. You are accountable for the outcomes of your own life. If you aren’t happy with feeling out of control, then you are the only one who can change what is going on – nobody else can do that for you. If you don’t like the way other people’s actions are making you feel, as President of the United You, then you hold the mandate on making the decision to speak up about that.
You can’t change the way they behave, but you can change the impact that their actions have on your business and your state of mind.
Would Air Force One take off if you said ‘hey, I’m not ready to go yet?’ No, it would stand down until President You finished whatever essential task you were performing (possibly screaming silently in the loo, but they don’t need to know that, do they?) and then they would take off.
Because you are the Chief. Control is yours. It’s not about being aggressive, or impolite, or trying to stamp authority over the Western world; it’s simply about taking back the reins on your own journey, and recognising that whilst you can’t get the results that you want all of the time, what you can do is maximise your ability to maintain stability in poor weather conditions.
And maybe getting Air Force One to divert to the Maldives.
Just for the weekend.
After all – you’re the President, right?
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