For you football fans you may have heard of Tony Dungy. He became the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996. The team had 13 losing seasons behind them, and friends were trying to persuade Tony not to take the job. He did it anyway.

When he arrived all he heard were excuses why they were losing. The reasons were: poor stadium, low ticket sales, couldn’t win away games if the weather was cold, and they were not drafting the right players. Here is the best one: apparently a voodoo-practicing woman who loved Doug Williams (quarterback) put a curse on the team when he left.

When Tony examined the list of obstacles for not winning, he realized something important—the entire list was outside the players’ control.

He immediately did something that all great leaders do. He asked a powerful question, “What factors do we control that will contribute to our success?” He then went to work and researched what the winning teams were doing more of than most. He discovered what he knew all along: they focused on what they could control.

The bottom line is, let’s help our people get a sense of what they can control. That sense affects results and empowers them to exercise that control.

Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to keep them focused on the right activities.