Are you master of your destiny?

Whether your company believes it is fully responsible for its own future or is at the mercy of external forces, neither belief is “true”. However, if you believe you create your own future you have a powerful basis for taking action, under any circumstances.

When you read the company statements that accompany their results, it is interesting to see managers’ assumptions. Although positive results are often created by management’s stellar performance, negative results are often ascribed to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, usually known as the market.

Are managers masters of their destiny, or like tumbleweed blown in the capitalist wind? As with all these questions, the answer is between these two extremes. More interesting is to ask  “which one of these assumptions is it more powerful for management to adopt?”

If you believe you cause your own destiny, then your efforts matter. However dire your results, or the market outlook, you know that it is in your power to be successful.

Your future depends on what you create. Succeed or fail, you take ownership.

If you believe you are at the mercy of external forces, there are always excuses. Customers, competitive moves, macro-economics, even your own organisation can thwart you. Because why not extend this assumption of helplessness internally? What impact can one person have?

How powerful you fell does not depend on your size. Two engineers in a garage can dream of changing the world. And the biggest multinational can feel powerless in the face of changing business environment.

Neither of these assumptions are “true”. But I know which company I would rather work for and invest in.

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