Control, No Control, and What Matters

Every person, team and business has a finite amount of resources.

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Leadership Tools: Control vs No Control vs Focusing on What Matters.

It is how we choose to use those resources that determines the level of our success, the speed we get there and our joy while on the journey.  

  • Spend time developing your strategy and determining what really matters in helping you get there. 
  • Assume your mental model of what really matters is incomplete.  
  • Assume that you have more control than you think.  Stephen Covey gives a great example of expanding your Circle of Influence in this 3 minute video which is expanded upon more in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  
  • Assume this will take a while but everything worth achieving takes time.  Success is about taking a series of smooth and deliberate steps in the right direction every day.  Remain focused on the objective. Don’t get sidetracked by momentary obstacles or setbacks. Learn from the Marshmallow Experiment.

Assess yourself over the last week:

  • How much time did you spend on things you can control but don’t really matter?  
  • How much time did you spend thinking or complaining about things you can’t control?  
  • How much time did you spend developing a more accurate model - learning what you didn’t even know you needed to learn?
  • How much time did you spend prioritizing around what really matters?
  • How much time did you spend working to build more influence over those areas where you currently have no control that truly matter?



Percent Planned Complete (PPC) - Calculation Example
Yoda would be the perfect coach for managing schedules on projects: “Do or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda This is the heart of Percent Planned Complete (PPC) and the weekly cycle of continuous production improvement.
Shifting Locus of Control
Technical skills stand on a foundation of behaviors that ultimately determine how effectively those skills are applied. Accelerating behaviors include:
Levels of Design / Development / Detail - Beyond just Design
Contractors can improve business results by applying many of the same processes and vocabulary to their business that the industry is applying to projects. Consider how the different Levels of Detail (LOD) could be applied to your planning processes.