No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Uncertainty is Why Leaders Exist

There’s a feeling I vividly associate with my memories of night patrols: total disorientation. Moving in total blackness and as silently as we could, my senses did me little good in providing me with context. Often the only thing I could see was the two little strips of luminous tape on the back of the helmet in front of me. I would lose track of time and direction, and start to think we must be lost.

It’s human nature to want to be able to see what’s ahead of you and have a map and compass for what’s out beyond the range of your eyes. We like traveling familiar routes. We hate the uncertainty of having no idea what we’re doing.

Here’s the deal, though: uncertainty is the only reason leaders are needed. Your team doesn’t need you if they already know where to go

Uncertain times are when you prove your worth. In fact, the more chaotic, the more you’re needed. There are learnable skills that will make you the master of chaos, but first you have to stop fearing it.

So instead of avoiding uncertainty, seek it out. You know it’s out there – key people leave, budgets dry up, customers go bankrupt, laws change. Your job is to know where uncertainty has reared its ugly head, and keep it from making your team anxious.

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