When should you maintain control and when do you let go?
I admit I was agitated and anxious as I approached my final day of on-campus parking for my job. This public transportation novice was to be pushed into park-and-ride.
For most adults, a car means freedom, independence, self-determination. Primarily, a vehicle represents control. Going where and when we want. Last fall, a car provided me with the ultimate freedom of delivering me from California to my new life here in North Carolina.
With no car on campus, I would have to leave work on a precise schedule. In the mornings, a bus would mean no flexibility of being indecisive about my wardrobe or hitting the snooze button just one more time. I would cede control.
On the other hand, losing on-campus parking would mean no trek from the lot to my office building in the snow and ice. (Some of you know how much I despise cold.) The bus ride also could provide 10 minutes of dozing or social media time.
The park-and-ride situation got me thinking–when is it desirable to maintain control and when–if we have a choice–should be relinquish control?
Perhaps your automatic response is that we should always maintain control. Consider this for a minute. Let’s replace the word “control” with “delegate.” We delegate in our professional and personal lives. We ask a co-worker to take on part of a big client project; we hand over our chaos of receipts to our accountant; we sometimes push off our kids on the babysitter or grandparents.
When I arrived here in North Carolina, I thought that I wanted to become a communications manager of some company or organization. I admit I felt quite deficient when someone almost young enough to be my daughter became my new boss.
But as I’ve come to know her and her impressive abilities and intelligence and witness all she has to juggle, I realize I’m happy at this point to be an employee and part of a team. I’m learning a lot and avoiding the stress of being a manager.
Relinquishing control sometimes is just what we need.