Take control

• 2 min read

Many people take a passive approach to their work. Arrive to the office, wait for somebody to give them something to do. Attend the meeting and wait for something to happen. Why didn’t they know something important? Nobody came to tell them. Why didn’t they get promoted? They probably don’t know.

People who take this approach will never move up in their career. They will never excel, and never be at the top of the game.

Taking a passive approach means giving up control of your work, your journey, and your career. Waiting for something to happen is equivalent to giving up control of your destiny, because you don’t own it. You don’t control it.

To grow and rise in your career, you need to take control. Taking control means taking ownership, for both good things and bad.

Taking ownership can be an uncomfortable thing. When the times are good, it’s easy -- you can own an achievement and it feels great.

When the times are not so good, it’s natural to look externally to find someone or something to blame. Got passed up for that promotion? Your request for access was denied? That shiny new project was given to Amy instead of you?

Gosh, those idiots don’t understand your potential. They didn’t bother looking at your request document. They don’t understand that you’re the better leader.

They, they, they!

Taking ownership means looking at what you could have done better to achieve the outcome you wanted.

If they don’t understand your potential, what can you do to show it better? What can you do to make your request clearer next time? What can you do to help them understand your leadership potential?

You, you, you!

It’s tough, because you’re taking responsibility for things that happen to you. But this is at the core of taking control, no matter how fun or uncomfortable it may be.

Taking control means playing an active role in everything that you do. If you’re required to learn anything, you are responsible for finding resources and acquiring that knowledge. If you need a decision to be made before you can move on with your project, you are responsible for finding the right people, getting them together, facilitating any discussion that needs to take place, capturing and sharing information, and driving toward the outcome.

It can seem pushy, but that’s only when you’re brushing against sedentary and passive people.

If you want to excel and grow your career, get that next promotion, or take on that new role, you must take control of your work. Your success it.

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