Originally Published in: Game Ready - 52 Takeaways for Winning
Is it that you have total command of a situation? Is it that you have some command of the situation? Or, is it that you don't want anything to do with the situation in the first place? In other words, you avoid command.
Here is the best way I can describe for you what control really means to me. Have you ever been on the back of a horse that was runnin' away? Well, first of all, for those of you who don't have a clue as to what that feels like, it is when a horse takes off running at full speed and will not stop. Sounds like fun, right. Well, wrong!
That horse will run you into fences, trees, ditches, and just about anything else blocking its path. I have been on the back of a runaway horse, and believe me when I tell you there is nothing quite like it. In a split second, you know that if you don't take control of the situation that horse will.
You have some options, but your options are limited. What's worse, time is not on your side.
First option: You can jump off. Let me advise you, don't do that.
Second option: You can stay on and let that horse run you into fences, trees, ditches, and anything on its path. Don't do that.
Third option: You can rope or lasso a tree stump like one of our friends did years ago. Let me tell you, for sure, don't do that.
Here's your final option: Take control of the situation. Do that!
This is what I know from my own experience with a runaway horse. What you do is reach down as far as you can on the left-hand side of the reins and start getting that horse to going in circles. Eventually, that horse will slow down, and you won't get yourself involved in a painful wreck.
The runaway story is an example of you taking control. Personally speaking, I can tell you my personality lends itself to being in control. Now, not everyone is built that way. I emphasized earlier 'you gotta be you,' so all I'm saying is somebody's gonna be in control or you'll have complete chaos.
You, as an individual, have to decide what you want. Teams and organizations have to decide what they want when it comes to who is in control. All I know, if there is no captain runnin' the ship that ship will crash and sink. I'll give you one better. If you let that horse you are riding run away, guess what? It will. And, what's worse, it will get you hurt.
It's really pretty simple. Someone, or something, is going to be in control. You have a lot more decision-making power in that control than you think. It's just a matter of how you handle control and the situation facing you.