Control what you can control

It’s the time of year where everyone is talking about their predictions for 2023. Many of these predictions aren’t especially surprising – which is a good thing. For example, we know that consumer spending and behaviour is changing as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. We know that China’s relaxing of their zero-Covid policy is going to significantly ease the supply chain challenges we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

My ONE prediction

To avoid rehashing what others have already shared as their expectations for the year ahead, I’m going to focus on the one that I believe is going to have the widest reaching impact.

Following the ‘work from home’ movement caused by the Covid-induced-lockdown of 2020, the tech industry responded to this in a way that no one could have imagined. Within the weeks that businesses had sent their teams home, many of us were able to carry out our jobs remotely (at least in part).

There were many amazing people and businesses who helped us come out the other side of Covid, but our ability to continue working and thriving despite the anxiety and pressure the world was under, was made possible how quickly tech firms were able to get Teams and Zoom to us, along with a myriad of other software to allow this to happen.

With many still working remotely, or in a hybrid way, technology is going to have to continue to evolve at pace to meet the needs of employers and employees. But it doesn’t end there. As consumers, we’re always wanting things faster, cheaper, and without impact to our lives.

With customer experience being key to service industries, firms will need to be looking at how their tech can make them more effective and more efficient. They will need to consider how the advancements around Web 3 will impact customer expectations. And they will need to ensure they have the right people with the right skills on their teams to make this happen. Tech transformations will likely not be considered as projects but rather as business as usual.

Focus your energy on what’s in your power to change

I was fortunate to have played professional rugby for my country (Scotland) for more than a decade. What this taught me was that you can only control what you can control. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? In reality though, we’ve all had those times where we lay awake in bed worrying about things we can’t change. Why? Because we just can’t help ourselves. Our brains won’t let us.

Playing a professional sport, however, reminded me that there will always be things you can’t control. The first step that business leaders (and in fact everyone), need to recognise is knowing the difference between what you can and can’t control. We can’t control interest rates, inflation, or the war on Ukraine.

Unlike our feelings and thoughts, there are three things you control every day: your effort, your attitude and your actions.

Focusing your energy in these places can lead to feeling more confident, positive, more empowered, leaving you with a sense of achievement. By putting your efforts into these things that you can influence, or control, you will be able to do those things better.

Leaders need to make more time for the things that matter and where they can have an impact. Recent years have taken their toll on everyone, but unfortunately the uncertainty we’ve experienced is going to continue for a while longer. Now more than ever, we need leaders who are resilient, and who can make a positive change, despite the continued turmoil.

“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”

HERACLITUS

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