This is essentially Stephen Covey's model. You are in the middle of the center circle, and everything that affects you in life sits in one of these circles somewhere. Everything that doesn't affect you in outside the circles. CoveyModel The things you can control are in the center circle with you (eg, what you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner), things that you don't control, but have influence over are in the middle circle (eg, your job) and the things that affect you but you have no control over are in the outermost circle (eg, taxes).

The idea is you invest more of your time, effort and worry on the things you can control, a little less on the things you can influence, and even less on the things in the concern circle.

I'd like to expand this model out a bit and relate it back to Leadership. How do we define a leader from anyone else? My theory is that leaders are the people who adjust their circles to include as much as possible in the "Influence" circle. If we pull as much as we can into the Control circle, then we're just workers. Anything we leave in the Concern circle obviously, we're obviously not having any effect against.

The people who expand their Circle of Influence to include as much as possible, are the ones who are using their leadership abilities to influence and guide those around them to achieve the goal. The poorest leaders are the ones who have a lot within their Control Circle, but are limited within their influence circle. Just look at many politicians.