What is the most important thing for you to acquire? Is it money? Is it position? Each of the things we want in life usually comes with some level of control required. Someone else has something you would like – and given the right relationship, trading, or negotiations you could gain control over that thing. Locus of Control is the term used to describe who has control. Locus means location.
What often happens on teams is a shuffling of control without transparent cooperation. Deliberately managing for locus of control is important to bringing efficiency through clear roles and ownership. When we identify who has control, why they have control, and what gives them that control we can then begin moving the control towards ourselves.
Fear is often a control removal tool that is used by sales people to get you to buy the extra warranty, but it can also be the thing that we as managers succumb to that leads us to under perform and not deliver innovation and deliberate change.