I was doing a Seminar in Cape Town about a year ago for a group of Salespeople. I was explaining the concept of Locus of Control and strangely enough it was one of those sessions where most of the people in the audience had not heard about it before.
The LOC (Locus Of Control) is a concept we use to explain the difference between having an internal and an external locus of control. Someone who believes they are personally responsible for what happens in their lives and takes full accountability for their personal and professional success has a high internal locus of control, the opposite is the person who usually attributes external circumstances or people other than themselves for the state of their success or failure.
Even though this Cape Town audience had not heard about the term “locus of control” before, they knew exactly what I was talking about, in fact one guy raised his hand and asked if he could share a story with the group. I hesitated because I wasn’t sure if his contribution would add value to the session or not, so I looked at the Head of Sales, who gave me a nod of approval and so I handed him the microphone to share his story. I didn’t know at the time that he was the top salesman in the room and I also didn’t know that he would share a story that I would never forget… A few years ago his daughter had one of her friends, Samantha, over for a play date and he overheard Sam, (as he called her), telling his daughter about their recent trip to Disney World in Orlando.
He explained that his daughter was so entertained by the stories that Sam was sharing and he knew that at some point he would have to tell her why they haven’t been able to go to Disney and then tell her when they will be going. He was not wrong, that evening when Sam left, his daughter walked into the lounge and said, “Dad, Sam told me all about Disney World and it sounds amazing, can we also go to Disney World? He replied and said, “My angel, I would love nothing more than to take you to Disney World and as soon as things change for the better in our economy we will definitely go.” And being child, she had a follow up question that was, “So when is the economy going to change?” He replied by saying that he does not know and that the economy is not something he has control over. And being a child she obviously had another follow up question and asked, “So which economy is Sam’s Dad in?” He had no reply for his 8-year-old daughter but knew where this was going… He said that in that moment his daughter’s question made him realize that he was making excuses for the lack of commitment and discipline he had towards his business. He had to face the harsh reality that another Dad, who is also an entrepreneur working in bad economic conditions, just like him, is making it work…
He said, that day he made a decision that never ever again will he make excuses about things that he can’t control and would change the things he can… he said he always knew that he wasn’t giving his very best, he knew that he was not as committed as he should have been but he was not willing to admit to himself or to his loved ones that he was letting himself down. He later realized that once he came clean with himself, he was able to make the changes he needed to make. It was his daughter’s curiosity and persistence that helped him move from being someone with a high external locus of control to somebody who is now taking full accountability for his future and is one of the top salesman in Cape Town.
Thank you for reading my blog and I hope that this wonderful story has impacted you just like it did with me… Have a great week! Q