The Futility of Seeking Absolute Control

2019-05-15T10:28:33-07:00 July 22nd, 2016|Tags: , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

My recent musings about Brexit stimulated some further thinking on the issue of controlling one’s destiny. In the case of Brexit, many in the “leave camp” sought to take back control from Brussels. It is entirely human to seek control over our lives and we tend to resent it when others try to control us.

In the financial services sector, negotiating appropriate controls to minimize risk exposure is an important discipline. For example, in the corporate lending business, we often negotiated a series of financial covenants that, if breached, would give us an early warning of danger ahead and (hopefully) sufficient time to act to avoid a loan loss.

There is nothing wrong with seeking to control risk. Prudence demands it. And while the companies receiving our money may have resented our controls, they concluded the benefit of funding more than offset the constraints. That said, here is a question for every marketplace leader: Does our quest for control produce the desired outcome?

No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot control every aspect of our lives.

According to the Bible, the basic problem of the human race is the desire to take charge. We need only look at the daily news to appreciate where humanity’s desire for supremacy has got us!

In reality, we simply cannot control every aspect of our lives. No matter how hard we try, we cannot eliminate uncertainty.

Those of us who have chosen to trust in the promises of God as recorded in the Bible, however, have found peace in the midst of an uncertain and often chaotic world. Specifically, the certainty of God’s love, His watchful care and His constructive purposes for each one of us more than offset any personal lack of control. This is very good news and is relevant to everyone and, in particular, every marketplace leader.

Is seeking control controlling your life?

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.