Control what you can

Over the past two weeks I have had many different conversations with people from all walks and stations in life about running successful organizations and looking into the future.

A lot of the conversations came back to a common thread. First, it is always easy to correct, fix and run an organization that you don’t have the actual responsibility for. I try to catch myself whenever I am asked what I would do if I was responsible for running XYZ organization. Of course it is easy to be the arm chair quarterback on Monday after the Sunday game.

In my world, I try to focus more on what we have control over. What is our mission? Are we doing the mission efficiently, responsibly and treating people like we would like to be treated?

As I look at the global, federal, state and regional landscape I find people who believe they all have all the answers for everyone else’s issues. The Federal Government  (according to the GAO) projects that if we don’t change that by 2040 the national deficit will be so large that balancing the budget will require cuts in federal spending by 60% and increasing taxes by two times what they are today.

The state government continues to grow (down to about 5% from the last numbers I saw), yet we are told at the local level we need to take on more services with very limited resources. Well the state is the sovereign in this food chain, so as the state continues to change the rules and funding we will continue to adapt, innovate and overcome these changes by controlling what we do have control over. This does not always make the most friends, but we will continue to work on retaining the business base we have, go after and recruit businesses who want to prosper and be a great place to live and work.

Bumper stickers might be good to get a message out or get elected to an office, but I have found that by putting the right people in the right place where they can succeed is the best receipt for success.


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  • Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager

    Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager

    Thoughts on running a city, daily musings, and everything in between.