Career Outcomes: One of the questions I ask clients, towards the end of our working relationship is, “how much control have you got over this outcome?”. Having invested a considerable amount of time and indeed money in a coaching process, perhaps you would expect a ” 10/10 answer. Surely you should have the ability to control the outcome of this project you have designed for yourself? It is deemed to be a positive thing in business if you have a strong internal locus of control: In my opinion a healthier and indeed more joyful metric might be 8/10 and here’s why: Firstly it comes back to the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,Courage to change the things I can,And wisdom to know the difference.
The only bit you can have any say over is yourself. You have control over your own thinking, your own reactions and your own behaviours….. the rest I’m afraid to say is WAY out of your league… I’m guessing that even if you are planning on going sole-trader, or on taking the entrepreneurial route, there will be a lot more people involved than just yourself. The bad news is that you have very little control over what they do, or say, or think. The lesson here is to choose wisely those who support you in your endeavours.
The second point is, even if you mix all the right ingredients together, you may not get the outcome you had envisaged. The good news is that the outcome may be well beyond your wildest dreams. It is when we persist in trying to force the outcome into the shape we originality envisioned, that we can miss all the potentiality that flows. The involvement of new people and ideas, of the changes in context and finances, of politics and dynamics, can bring the unexpected to the crucible.
There is a really good case here for taking charge of the process but letting go of the outcome. When there is something of your own security, that means that you can enable the excellence of leadership. This is the place where you can be still and here the solutions of others. This is the place when you can set down you agenda, and instead, run with the brilliance that a colleague brings to your attention.
If you are 100% in control of the outcome, where is the ability to welcome innovation? Where is the agility to respond to change? Where is the inclusivity of all that is brought to a project by the others involved? Perhaps it is important to not be 100% on control of your career outcomes. Perhaps the trick is to engage 100% with the process instead, this way opening yourself up to all the resources available to you on the journey. This is the way to ensure the richest possible career outcomes.