The Dragon Reborn - Chapters 3, 4 & 5 [#100Days, Day 77]

Circles of Control, Influence, Concern and Everything Else

    Min's Viewing of a Tuatha'an woman, Leya, indicates trouble ahead for Rand, Moiraine and the rest of the small band of Shienarans.  As usual, Min's visions are clear and the band fends off an attack from Trollocs and Myrddraal, suffering heavy casualties, including Leya.  

    "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, Perrin.  I told you long ago that we were in a way.  We cannot stop just because some of us may die.  Any of us may die before it is done.  Leya's weapons may not be the same as yours, but she knew that when she became a part of it."
    Perrin dropped his eyes.  That's as may be, Aes Sedai, but I will never accept it the way you do.

Moiraine and Perrin, The Dragon Reborn, p. 27

    Moiraine isn't cavalier about the lives of her army of informants; but she acknowledges the fragility of their position, and focuses her efforts on the items over which she has control.  Worrying about the infinite items that you can't control prevents progress from being made.  In some ways, the battle scene is almost a lesson in self-fulfilling prophecy.  From a certain viewpoint, Perrin, in his concern for protecting Leya, sets her up perfectly to get killed by the Myrddraal.  Such paranoia can infect organizations as well; driving them to the very crises they worked so hard to avoid - time, effort and energy was wasted on items that couldn't be directly controlled or even influenced.  Moiraine holds Min's Viewing of Leya as a concern, allowing the broader concept of an attack to influence her actions for the good of the organization, instead of towards a specific outcome, as Perrin attempted. 

    Balancing and moving fluidly between the circles of control, influence, concern and everything else takes practice.  A telltale sign that you need to step in and provide direction is when teams get hung up on all the myriad of possible outcomes.  Though well-intentioned, their war-games of future states require significant assumptions, usually of other entities' actions, that may not be wholly valid.  By providing a decision, the leader keeps the actions under their control and starts to influence the overall picture to their advantage; forcing opponents to react.

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