Our Three Circles of Interest And How Should Manage Them

As we travel through these unprecedented times I can only imagine the stress and strain that many are feeling, from the concerns about the coronavirus, to the economy, and to what is happening politically (whichever side of the divide you are on).

During these times it’s worth remembering the three circles which impact our lives.


We also need to remember where we should be focusing our efforts and activities. 

Sure the Circle of Concern is important and it’s impact can be immense, but if you let that dominate your thinking and actions this is only going to end up with more stress, frustration, and deepening your concern. 

That doesn’t mean we should ignore it, that would be foolhardy, but thinking we can change things here is equally foolhardy as we have zero control or influence here and any efforts will be wasted.

A lot of people ignore the Circle of Influence thinking that without control there is little they can do, but that’s a false assumption. If we have influence, then our actions can have an impact, it just means that it might not be direct, or that it could be ignored, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it.

Leadership is influence, and you wouldn’t give up on leadership would you?

In this circle, we need to be the role models, the examples that others can choose to follow. For example, when I go out I wear a mask even in areas where there is little to no threat. Not just because I fear for my safety, but also because I want to show my support for mask-wearing as I think it has benefits if others do so, and I want to be the role model. I also practice social distancing again, not because I am concerned about my health but because I want to try and show others, and maybe that way we can avoid a second lockdown, which I agree would be terrible for everyone. Can I control that? No. Can I influence it? Maybe.

Now I am not telling you to wear a mask, but I am saying that we shouldn’t ignore the Circle of Influence as we can still have an impact there. It could be through how you show your business pivoting to handle the crisis, or how you respond to the BLM movement, it could be anything.

To ignore our ability to influence is to give up on our leadership.

Lastly, the Circle of Control, this is where our actions can have the most immediate impact and where we should exert most of our effort.  Our anxiety grows when we experience uncertainty or feel a sense of powerlessness, some of which can happen when we focus too much on the Circle of Concern, where we definitely do not have any control.

Take the time to evaluate your situation, look to understand and see what is in your Circle of Control and then ask what could you do, what should you do, what can you do, and then take action.

One of the concerns for me has been the collapse of the events business, which was to be a key source of revenue in 2020 with paid events scheduled in Dubai, India, China, Denmark, UK, America, and Netherlands all of which have been canceled or rescheduled for 2021 at the earliest. I have neither control nor influence here, it is purely concern, albeit a big one.  But what I can do is to look at alternatives, become a master of online speaking, learn the tools and techniques to be successful in this space. That is something within my control.  Looking at how I can pivot my business, how can I do more online, or teach others to do more online.

There are always options and the vast majority of these are within our Circle of Control.

The better we understand our Circle of Control the more opportunities we will see and be able to act upon to help get us through these difficult times.

I just thought I would share these thoughts as a timely reminder.

If you are looking for assistance to better understand your Circle of Control, then please reach out via email, and let’s talk.

thanks and good luck for the second half of 2020