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TipsForSuccess: How to Take More Control, Part 1

 

TipsForSuccess.org

How to Take More Control, Part One

Like money or nuclear power, control can be used for good or evil. You can use it to harm, suppress or destroy lives. Or you can use it to help people, increase your income and improve the world around you.

Negative, destructive control gives control a bad name. Yet positive, constructive control is essential to successful living. No control over your job, family or life leads to failure.

When you are not in control of your sphere of operation, you feel stress, fear and frustration.

When you are in control, you make progress, enjoy your work and achieve success.

Taking better control of yourself, your time, career, business, equipment, computers, marriage, family, personal property, bad habits and so on, is much easier when you understand and apply these five facts about control.

1. Control is the biggest difference between success and failure.

2. Control consists of three parts: Start, Change and Stop.

3. Your control problems are based on your weaknesses with starting or changing or stopping.

4. If you try to control people or things outside your sphere of operation, you fail.

5. To succeed, you must let others control you.

In this first of five articles, we cover the first fact.

1. Control Is the Difference Between Success and Failure

"What is control?

"Whether one handles a machine of the size of a car or as small as a typewriter or even an accounting pen, one is faced with the problems of control. An object is of no use to anyone if it cannot be controlled. Just as a dancer must be able to control his body, so must a worker in an office or a factory be able to control his body, the machines of his work and, to some degree, the environment around him.

"The primary difference between 'the worker' in an office or a factory and an executive is that the executive controls minds, bodies and the placement of communications, raw materials and products, the worker controls, in the main, his immediate tools." -- L. Ron Hubbard (The Problems of Work)

Consider two different restaurant owners.

Steve owns an Italian restaurant and Kate owns a French restaurant. Steve loves to chat with customers while Kate loves to improve her operations.

Steve hires an accountant to handle his bookkeeping while Kate stays late to figure out how to do her own books. Steve hires an attorney to write the employee policies and keep him out of legal trouble. Kate goes to a labor law seminar, writes her own employee policies and has a lawyer check it over.

Steve believes his personality will keep people coming back while Kate decides good food and well-trained servers will keep people coming back.

Steve has no idea how to cook, clean the kitchen or balance the books. He can only hire experienced people to do these jobs. He must bend over backwards to keep them on the job, despite their bad attitudes.

Kate and her cooks invent their own recipes and keep them in a book. Kate establishes checklists for the staff for setting up tables, cleaning and so on. She also enjoys training inexperienced cooks, servers and other staff.

Who is in better control? Who is making a better profit? If Steve's top people quit working for him, what will happen to his restaurant? If Kate's top people quit, what will happen to her restaurant?

Another Example

Two medical transcribers, Jill and Sue, are hired by a large hospital on the same day. They are expected to type medical reports explaining the patients' treatment so the hospital can collect its fee from insurance companies.

Jill decides to be a robot and simply type whatever is in front of her. One day, her computer goes down. She calls the technician and paints her fingernails until the computer is fixed. She has no idea what she is typing as she cannot understand the medical terms. She decides to just pretend it is a foreign language. She types every word placed in front of her without using the computer shortcuts. She produces 20 reports per day.

Sue wants more control of her position. As well as typing the reports, she learns about the computer. She reads the help screens to learn shortcuts in the program. She learns to copy and paste large sections of text and other time-saving actions. She produces 30 reports per day.

When the computer goes down, Sue carefully watches the technician and asks questions so she knows what to do next time.

Sue finds a medical dictionary in the storage room and starts to look up the terms in her reports. She buys lunch for a nurse so she can ask about medical procedures. She even listens to tapes about insurance code rules.

Who is in better control of her job? Of her career?

One day, Jill types a report about a one-year-old receiving treatment for Alzheimer's disease. She types it exactly and sends it to the insurance company. That same day, Sue is typing a report for a eighty-year-old man's immunization shot for chicken pox. She knows this is a mistake and sends it back to the nurse. The nurse realizes the patient names were switched.

Another day, Jill's computer goes down. She learns the computer technician is unavailable and asks to go home. Sue overhears the request and offers to fix the computer, which she does.

Who is the more valuable employee? Who should get the next promotion? If business slows down, who will keep her job?

Certain symptoms show how well you control your job.

10 Signs You Are Not in Control of Your Work


Easily fatigued or exhausted
Work area is messy and disorganized
Job is not interesting
Easily stressed
Need constant help
See no way to improve performance
Easily confused by others while on the job
Frequently think of quitting
Frantically react to emergencies
You cannot conceive of greater productivity

10 Signs You Are in Control of Your Work

Energized, motivated
Work area is neat and organized
Work is interesting and enjoyable
Feel challenged, not stressed
Effectively supervise self
Constantly looking for ways to improve
Rarely confused while on the job
Frequently thinking of more responsibility
Rationally respond to emergencies
You have good ideas for increasing productivity

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being in full control, how well do you control of your job? Your home life? Your possessions? Your personal habits? Your success?

Recommendations

1. Make a list of all your duties, responsibilities and areas of your life.

2. Rate your control of each on a scale of 1 to 10.

3. Work out a plan to take a little more control of each.

For more assistance with your control skills, go to www.tipsforsuccesscoaching.org.

 

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