Monday, January 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by sullust

Ever have one of those days?

As a father of five and a leader of 150+, I have "one of those days" several times a week! I'm sure many of us do. The pressures of everyday life, especially as a leader, are tremendous.

Not enough of this....why did that happen?.....too much of that....where're my socks? lost your inhaler?!?!....I'm going to be late!.....aaggghhh! Sound familiar?

I like author Stephen Covey's take on the daily frustrations of life. He says there are two concentric circles that encompass our concerns. The outer circle contains everything we are concerned about. This is aptly named "the Circle of Concern." The inner circle contains those things we are concerned about that we can exert some influence on. This is called "the Circle of Influence." If we focus on those things that we can influence, our circle of influence will grow to encompass more of the circle of concern.

When I get frustrated, I try to focus on the inner circle, because when many things are frustrating, only so many of them can be directly influenced by me. In this way, I maintain a level of control and my energies aren't wasted worrying about things I have no control over.

So the next time you're concerned about how cold it is outside, shift focus to the inner circle and put on a coat!

1 comment:

Step said...


Great job in setting up your blog, but more importantly your leadership blog. I will be checking in from time to time.

Thank you for the book information. I will purchase through your site so you can get your census built up.

I really like your last comment on "Frustration". When it is cold outside do not complain put on a coat. Controlling the inner circle is how I have made it over the past few months. You can not look or be overly concerned about the circumstances around you (outer circle), because circumstances change. However, controlling the inner circle each day and pursuing inner circle objectives on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis can greatly influence and change the outer circle to ones benefit over time.

Anyway when things get crazy around me I remember to not complain, but go into my closet and put on my coat.

All the Best and thanks for bringing your leadership views to the web and to the world.

Ron Steptoe