All under control

All under control: Velites blog about implementation, interaction and leadership

All under control


When you visit the historical garden in Aalsmeer, they will explain you how people with a nursery garden control nature. Flowers are growing in warm greenhouses to make sure they are available earlier in the year at the time people want to buy them. They also are in control by using pesticides to protect the flowers. But to what extent do you direct the things around you?

I was born in a family who was working in the flower industry. My parents had their own nursery with roses: flowers that couldn’t grow without a good heated greenhouse. I remember that the containers were filled with water and extra nutrition to make sure the roses will last for a very long time. But I remember as well how careful the roses were picked.

My parents worked with a lot of attention and passion to make sure nature was kept under control. The temperature in the greenhouse and the way how the windows were used were all controlled to make sure we had the best flowers of all. However, complete control was an illusion. When there was a storm, the greenhouse and the roses could be damaged. And when we had a very hot summer, it could hurt the flowers.

We can influence and control a lot, but total control seems to be an illusion. Think about what if all of a sudden there is a huge dry period that has a negative impact on the growing vegetables? Or what if a sickness breaks out at farms with chickens or cows? You can reduce the chance of these occurrences by using good hygiene or to grow vegetables that fits your climate. However, there seems to be always a kind of uncertainty on external influences.

It’s the same at the office. You can influence the things you do to a certain extent. Think about how you keep your employees satisfied so they won’t leave the company. Or think about chances you create for your own career by following a good study. You can influence how things go, but still your manager keeps sitting at the position you would like to fulfill or the competitions offers really good deals to employees that you cannot match due to company policies. All external factors that you might not able to control.

But is it wrong that we cannot control everything? Is it wrong that external factors block us from reaching our goals? I think the answer should be no. As long as we accept that external factors do exists and can influence the way how we reach our goal. Because at the end, that good study might lead to a different promotion, or management will change their policies.

Keep your goals in front of you. All roads lead to Rome. Sometimes you go straight, the fastest route. But sometimes a detour or side road lead to much better and much more beautiful experiences.