“I thank you in advance for the great round of applause I’m about to get.” – Bo Diddley
Over the past 12 months we’ve been very rudely reminded that there are a lot of things in the world that affect our businesses that we have no control over. There is constant pressure from outside forces – even in a non-global pandemic year – that we have to prepare for & adapt to. Sometimes it’s easy to just want to throw up your hands and give up.
We’ve talked in this space about attitude and mental health already this year, and I think those are two of the most critical issues we’ll deal with over the next 12+ months. It’s important for leaders to remember that just because you can’t control everything doesn’t mean you can’t control anything.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the very fortunate position of being able to have a major role in creating your own future. For starters, appreciate that, as there are millions of people in the world who would love to be in your shoes. Second, remember that you will have a major role in creating your own future whether you want to or not, for better or worse.
To a large degree, as leaders, our futures are self-fulfilling prophesies. If you expect everything to be terrible, and to go against you, and you expect the worst in every situation, then that’s quite often what you’re going to get.
For example, If you think you have no control over sales, then you’re really not going to work that hard at it (what’s the point?), and the outcome is that sales probably will suffer. Then you’ll look back and see you were right. On the other hand, if you think you’re going to be wildly successful with sales, chances are you’ll do the things you need to do and approach it with the energy you need to in order to be successful. When you succeed, you’ll look back and see that you were correct.
It’s very easy these days to get stuck in the routine of complaining about all the things that upset/scare/anger us, and to talk about everything that’s bad in the world, from the giant, enormous things to the day to day nuisances. Remind yourself every day that getting pulled into that black hole has an impact beyond just a little irritation. When you allow yourself to believe everything is terrible, you’re unlikely to do the things you need to do to make them great.
Focus on what you can control. Expect great things to happen. Then work passionately and prove yourself right.