The Illusion of ControlNone By Janice Marturano
Control is one of humankind’s greatest illusions. Let’s face it—even with all the information available and expansive educational preparation—unexpected events often interfere with our plans and our best efforts to control an outcome or an event (and even ourselves!). And what happens to us, to those around us, and to the teams and organizations we lead when things get disrupted?
For many of us, it depends on the day. There are times when we run into an obstacle and see it as an opportunity for creativity, a challenge that excites us. Then there are times when an obstacle throws us off balance, creates confusion and stress, and ‘leaks’ out in actions, whether verbal or physical. These reactions are, at best, counterproductive, and at worst, disrespectful and injurious. It all depends on our mind’s ability, on that day, in that moment, to regain equilibrium quickly so we can respond with spaciousness and creativity.
Fortunately, it’s possible to cultivate this capacity of the mind and train it in the same way we would train our body to be stronger, more flexible and fit. And, for this training to be particularly effective, it should be done in the context of strengthening and expanding our capacity to lead.
In the past several years, new leadership training has emerged, one steeped in the knowledge that leaders have the capacity to strongly influence others and our world, for better or worse. It also recognizes that the vast majority of people in leadership roles have strong minds, deep expertise and good hearts. This training is based on the mental disciplin