We want to control our finances, our projects, our teams, our relationships, our future. We yearn for that sense of security that control promises. Just look around—nine out of ten advertisements are selling you some form of control.
Control, however, is an illusion and the security it offers is hollow.
Truth is, there are a million things just beyond your grasp at any given moment. The weather. The price of oil. The competition. The people around you. Your next breath.
You can respond to that truth in 3 ways:
- Do Nothing and be tossed around by the wind and waves of life.
- Try to control the uncontrollable and wear yourself out in the process.
- Learn to adapt to any situation life throws at you.
Exceptional leaders don’t waste time trying to change the wind—they learn how to sail. An experienced sailor can use wind from any direction to propel her boat in the direction she desires. Depending on how she trims the boat and sails, she can run with the wind, cut at right angles or even beat a course upwind. She can’t control the wind, but she can use it.
In the same way, exceptional leaders adapt to changing environments, harness the emotions in a situation, and adapt to the needs of those around them.
True power doesn’t come from control—that’s a small, limited substitute for power. True power belongs to those who can harness the uncontrollable, adapt to the inconceivable, and maneuver in the unknown to accomplish their goals. This is true power, true security, and true freedom.
How are you at Out-of-Control Leadership?