Four Steps to a Systems Perspective at Work and at Home

Today's guest post is from Sam Carpenter of Work the System.  Sam's new book looks to be a great read and TDS will be reviewing it in the coming months. 


many of us finger-point and complain about what is not to our liking.
It’s too bad we do that because it’s not just a waste of
time, it’s a diversion from what needs to happen if we are
to reach our goals.
Personal excuses, generalizations about the
dire state of the world, and under-the-radar or overt attempts to
change the people around us are ineffectual to the point of
paralysis. These preoccupations are distractions from the personal
moves we could make on-the-ground that would actually produce what we
really want in our lives: freedom, wealth, and control of our
destinies. And pursuing personal peace, prosperity, and control are
noble goals because the sure way to realize them is to create
something of value.

key word here is “control.” It’s what we need.

about the generally accepted notion that someone who seeks firm
control is an unpleasant personality - someone who needs to loosen
up? With some rare exceptions, I contend that this ubiquitous
assumption is wrong. Despite the almost visceral societal belief to
the contrary, there is a direct connect between happiness and the
amount of control we attain
. But, let’s be clear: Happiness
is not found in the control we have over others; it’s found in
the control we have over the moment-to-moment trajectory of our own
lives, and more exactly — here we get to the root of things —
the control of the personal systems that are ours to adjust and

solution to getting what we want is not about fixing the world
condition or ingesting the perfect drug. And it’s not about
acquiring more things, being famous, or finding a new spouse. The
solution is rooted in adopting a different perspective — a
different way of seeing, thinking, and processing the life we already
have. So here’s a simple, attainable, step-by-step way for you
to “get what you want.”

  1. Face the world
    and courageously question the sacred status quo as
    it relates to your own self. Sort out what’s going on within
    your individual areas of direct influence, and then work on those
    things. Don’t spend time and energy on the processes you can’t

  2. Change your
    of the world’s mechanics.
    insists that we live in a “holistic” world where we are
    channeled to be keenly aware that everything we do affects
    everything else. We are paralyzed into a state of inaction by what
    we see as a hopeless jumble of sights, sounds, and events around us.
    Resist the holistic, blanket solutions to everyday challenges and
    problems in your life: psychotropic drugs, the lure of a new car,
    house, job, or life partner. It’s OK to separate things; to
    improve them one at a time.

  3. Understand that
    99.9 percent of everything around you operates just fine.

    Consider your body, for instance, and the myriad of chemical,
    electrical and mechanical components that operate flawlessly. It’s
    a numbers game, and the things of the world that are not performing
    well are a very small percentage of the entirety. Making things
    better for yourself is not going to require as much work as you

  4. Separate your
    job, health, and relationships into linear sub-systems that are
    simple and understandable.
    Then, fully understanding what you’re
    seeing in front of you, fix these sub-systems one-by-one, making
    each as efficient as possible. When your task is complete, when you
    have fixed all your sub-systems with this non-holistic approach, you
    will see that you have constructed terrifically efficient holistic
    primary systems: your job, body, relationships. Your life.

When your life changes as a result of this new perspective and
methodology, it will be enormously satisfying. The improvements will
have come about because of what you did. You will have
taken control of your own life.


Carpenter, author and speaker, is president and CEO of Centratel
one of the nation’s handful of elite telephone answering
services. Visit
to purchase your copy of Work the System. A free download of
“Six Steps to Working Less and Making More” is also
available on the site.

Interview with author Sam Carpenter

At WorkMike StPierre