Overcoming dependency on the behaviour of others

Elon Musk

Another common type of “mis-blink(or “mistaken blink-of-an-eye thinking”) that we can easily fall into in a changing world is called ‘dependency’.

Dependency is a constraint that people sometimes place upon themselves when they know the outcomes they want to create but refuse to take action unless another person behaves in a certain way. They make their own behaviour conditional or ‘dependent’ on the behaviour of others.

“Not me,” you might say. But in many cases this is a healthy part of normal business practice. “I will deliver this service only if you pay me £$€.” Or “I will pay you £$€ only if you deliver this service.”

But in other situations, dependency can prevent us from achieving important goals. In June 2014, for example, Tesla Motors decided that it would give up the royalties and licensing fees for patents on its batteries, payable under normal business practices. It did so because it realised these royalties were holding the company back from achieving its strategic goals.

As founder Elon Musk explained:

“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal.”

In a time of churning the old rules break down. Letting go of dependency frees you to you let go of “We’ve always done it like this.” It allows new business models to emerge and helps you to reach your goals.

When Airbnb and Uber let go of their ‘dependency’ or requirement to own their own taxis or hotels, or to control large numbers of employees, they freed themselves to transform their industries.

Chapter 2 of Inner Leadership contains a tool for spotting these dependencies, together with the other seven mis-blinks. Applying it can help you, like Elon Musk and Tesla, to let go of your dependencies and free yourself to behave as the leader you truly are and can be.


Adapted from Inner Leadership. Buy the book.


Photo By Tesla Club Belgium via StockPholio.net

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