Nothing By Chance Blog


We have discussed power in this space as one imposing will on another. Schmookler’s Parable of the Tribes teaches us that anyone can choose power and no one can choose peace. The value in considering power through interactions will be diminished without also considering power through intra-actions. Said another way, how can we know more about self-power?

Stephen Covey’s insights about control, influence and concern speaks to “power over” as opposed to “power for”. Covey begins with the illustration of concentric circles labeled control, influence and concern:


Consider where you put most of your time. Do you spend most of your time addressing world peace, national elections, international economics, and your neighbor’s finances? None of these items are subject to your control, nor are they likely to be significantly influenced by you. Perhaps you are dedicating most of your time to your spouse’s work outside the home, your parent’s well-being, the operation of your child’s school and the delivery time of the morning newspaper. You can influence each of these actions, they are closer proximity relations than a concern would be but you can’t control these factors. Strong is the person who spends most of his/her time in what s/he can control.

What can you control? There is real value in considering what qualifies as something you can really control. Every parent who’s honest will be able to tell you the time when a child was beyond control. Every student can recall the powerlessness that precedes the instructor’s distribution of an exam. And haven’t we all been in the suspense between interview and job offer? Covey asserts that the one thing over which we have control is how we respond. Time invested in controlling our response leads to more ability to respond (response-ability) and more power for influence and concerns.

Exploring Covey’s concept of control, influence and concern will be enriched by a NBCC coach. At NBCC we support your exploration, we encourage you to deep exploration and we challenge you to explore with integrity. The discoveries that are valuable are the gems that you mine and NBCC coaches prospect with you not for you.