Control Is an Illusion

Control Is an Illusion

In this episode, Tom discusses control as an illusion, what it means, and the important aspects that a leader must have to help them navigate through difficult situations or things that are out of our control.

Control Is an Illusion

  • The Cynefin Model is a conceptual framework by David Snowden that leaders can use to aid with decision making. Cynefin is a Welsh word that means “environment”. 
  • The Cynefin Model is a grid with 4 quadrants that help identify the variables and complexity of a probem. 
      1. Simple – simple problem, simple solution
      2. Complicated – multiple problems with multiple causes that require an expert’s analysis
      3. Complexity – a network of situations/problems with multiple variables and you don’t know which of these variables is causing the problem
      4. Chaotic – where multiple variables all come together, and the cause and effect are unclear.
  • Human beings are complex.
  • To understand complexities, you need to probe and try different things. 
  • Learn to appreciate the variables that come into play when faced with a difficult situation.
  • Keep in mind that there are things you can control and things that you can’t. You need to have the wisdom and courage to know the difference between the two.
  • You can control how you react in difficult situations. 
  • Learn to accept that some things are just very complex that things that can be put in place to address these issues can also impact a lot of other things.
  • Control is an illusion. You cannot control the environment you are in but you can control your reaction to it and reframe things that are within your domain. 
  • If you think you can control everything, you will be constantly disappointed when things are not working out. 
  • Sometimes, you just have to do your best and let it go. It doesn’t mean that you’re beating yourself up. It’s appreciating that there are things you can control and things that you can’t.
  • Ambiguity is something that we all need to be used to. Helping your team and your organisation to deal with ambiguity is an important aspect of being a leader. After all, your team looks up to you for a level of certainty. 
  • In today’s environment, it’s important for leaders to have a high degree of authenticity and be able to demonstrate a level of vulnerability.

Today’s Take-away

  • There are lots of things that you can’t control. How do you reframe things? 
  • How do you demonstrate authenticity and vulnerability to your team? In times of uncertainty, how do you make them feel that you are all on this journey together?

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