Tooling up for 2024

In this email, I share two classic and incredibly useful tools. They may even be more valuable today than before.

Last week I wrote about ‘uncertainty’. We’re all exposed to it more and more.

Rather than seeking or striving for certainty, I’d suggest we’re better off accepting and adjusting to a more BANI world.


Yes, BANI. Click here to read more.

I can see the impact of uncertainty all around me now. On me, on those closest to me, on friends, on my friends’ kids. And of course, on my clients.  

This period of uncertainty has had a large number of benefits for me personally and professionally.

  • The rules of the game have changed for me. I’m not hoping for, or expecting, certainty.
  • I’m focusing on that which I can control, or influence. I had slipped into bad habits of focusing on what I couldn’t control.
  • I’m more open to seeking support from those I trust, and sooner than I did before.
  • I’m more aware of my clients’ needs (organisationally and individually).
  • I’m far more connected with myself and aware of my own needs too.
  • At TRIPS Tank, we’ve adapted our offering to take into account the systemic changes our clients are experiencing.

Simple, yet very effective tools!

1. Circles of Control vs Concern

a.  Draw two circles overlapping in the middle.

b.  Right circle is ‘control’ (blue ink), the left is ‘concern’ (red ink), the area in the middle that overlaps is ‘influence’ (black ink).

c.  Whatever is on your mind, dump it in one of the three areas depending on whether it is within your control, influence or not.

d.  Keep the sheet beside you for a few days. Keep adding to it – tune into your thoughts and your inner dialogue. Keep filling in your sheet.

e.  Prioritise the things you can control (exercise, mindset, attitude, behaviours, how you show up in response to the things outside your control).

f.   Map out the things you can influence, and clarify how you will do it (conversations, meetings, relationships, positioning things effectively).

g.  Accept the things that concern you, which you can’t control or influence. Keep an eye on how they impact you, and keep focusing on your response.

2. Review 2023, and plan for 2024

a.  When it comes to the key areas of life (choose your own, or use these), address how you’ve shown up this past year in each one.

i.     Physical wellbeing – exercise, sleep, hydration, nutrition etc

ii.    Mindset – mental and emotional wellbeing, your relationship with yourself

iii.   Connections – your relationships with those who matter most

iv.   Business – anything from career, leadership, performance to remuneration

b.  When it comes to the things in the above areas that you CAN CONTROL or INFLUENCE:

i.    What has gone well?

ii.    What could be improved?

iii.   What have you learnt from answering above?

iv.   What COULD you do differently next year?

c.  Once you know what you want to do more of, less or, or keep the same – start to make a plan. Don’t make any commitments yet, just gather all your ideas first.

d.  As you address your key priorities, plan in greater detail. What time would you need to allocate to each? Who else could be involved to support or delegate to? How realistic is your plan?

e.  Commit to what you can, ditch the rest!

f.   Email it back to me.

I’d love to hear how you get on! In the meantime, if you’ve any questions, don’t be shy in asking.