A few years ago, I had the opportunity to manage a staff of 14 at a local bank branch. When I first took over as manager, I kept getting excuses from the team members about why they couldn’t hit their sales’ goals.
After a few months of listening to the same excuses, I decided to hold a meeting to teach them to focus on the things they could control. I asked all of them to write down all of the things they were expected to do. Then separate those items between the things they could and couldn’t control.
When we finished writing down these items we learned the following:
- Although we couldn’t control if people purchased something, we could control asking every customer to buy
- We couldn’t control how many people scheduled appointments with us, but we could control the number of phone calls we could make
- We couldn’t control whether someone would be approved for a credit card, but we could control asking them if they wanted one
The point is we learned not to dwell on things we couldn’t control, but focus on the things we could. Following our exercise, our team went on to hit all of our goals for the next 21 months, everyone was happier, and we led over 1,500 branches across the country in growth.
If you are having problems in your career or life, I suggest you perform the above exercise. Life is so much more fun when you focus on the things you can control!