Success Requires an Internal Locus of Control (Wendy Samson, Curt Swenson, 2017)

Have you ever noticed that people who have grown up working with large animals, tend to get rattled less easily? What is that all about? And how about the recent study that found that “camping improved positive identity, social skills, physical and thinking skills, positive values, and spirituality, especially in girls.” This same article also reported that “other studies have found that camping decreased anxiety, aided the formation of caring connections, and increased hope and goal-directed behaviors (www. childtrends.org).” How are these activities related to one another and what do they have to do with employees at the workplace?

What we are talking about here are some of the elements of resiliency and a few of the foundational, childhood experiences that can produce an internal locus of control. According to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, “a person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything.(https://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/locus-of-control/)”. Individuals who have a strong internal locus of control are more successful, happier and feel an overall greater sense of contentment. They are more resilient, take more calculated risks and are more hopeful. This trait spells success for the individual and for the company in which they work.

Interestingly, a strong locus of control requires two seemingly dichotomous acknowledgments:

First, you are NOT always in control and should not always BE in control in order to gain a more holistic perspective, enabling you to better understand and empathize with your team members. (Working with large animals can teach this).

Secondly, you DO have choices over which you DO have some control that can most certainly move you ahead – BUT you will have to risk-take and step out of your comfort zone often in order to further progress and professionally develop. (Camping and adventure experiences can teach this.)

FutureSYNC International wants to invite you to learn more about developing your internal locus of control. Consultants at FutureSYNC are able to provide personal coaching and professional advisement to you individually or can work with your entire team. Connect with us at (406) 254-2326 to grow your leadership!