As a business analyst, I am tasked with a great many responsibilities. Among them, grasping the client’s vision, writing cogent requirements, fleshing out additional details to prevent project bottlenecks, and performing functional tests of completed code. If you’re familiar with the IT industry, then you know what’s described above is consistent with the BA job description (and therefore an understatement). I might be content to simply fulfill the aforementioned tasks secure in the knowledge that I am meeting baseline expectations. However, that’s not why I joined the AVIO team.
Self-improvement is a topic that is constantly circulated at AVIO. Being the self-conscious, type-C/analytical personality that I am, I like to focus-fire on specific areas of interest and/or responsibility. It’s part and parcel of who I am. However, with the fourth quarter upon us and the end of 2016 on the horizon, I’ve decided to take a different approach to my typical metacognitive odyssey and widen the scope of my personal improvement plan.
LOCUS OF CONTROL
I recently read a news story that left me asking questions. One such question centered on whether I truly believe my circumstances are extrinsically or intrinsically antecedent. After some personal reflection, I determined my outlook was more extrinsically focused than I would like.
You see, humans tend to think that circumstances are either out of their control, or within their control. While I acknowledge even insurance companies allow for so-called “Acts of God,” I truly believe that most of what occurs in life is the result of personal choice. If, however, something out of my control truly does transpire, one thing is for certain: my response to said situation is completely within my control. This highlights and underscores the importance of personal choice, preparation, and sound decision-making leading to a conclusion/response.
BIAS TOWARD ACTION
In the same news story I referenced above, the term “Bias toward action” was used. If one believes that their situation in life is indelibly connected to their choices rather than extrinsic, chaotic factors beyond their control, then this naturally leads to a bias toward action. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Followers follow, leaders lead,” then a bias toward action grounded in an intrinsically-centered locus of control starts to make sense. Followers choose to follow via a bias toward reaction, but leaders choose to lead via a bias toward action, which could be why they are recognized as such.
With another year’s worth of experience to look back on, I am able to see how I’ve been a follower at times. I’m also able to see where I’ve been a leader. More than that, though, I see the leadership opportunities I think I’ve missed.
So, with a renewed perspective, a more well-defined locus of control, and a re-invigorated bias toward action, I’m ready to take on the remainder of 2016. I may not end with a perfect score, but I’ll end strong. Here's to becoming a better leader, consultant, and advisor!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
Where is your locus of control centered?
How might you better demonstrate a bias toward action in Q4 of 2016?