Create Regions of Hope

One major challenge for leaders today is creating regions of hope amid the prevailing uncertainty and ambiguity. Leaders today are driving teams in foggy business environments. The concentration of fog keeps increasing and the challenge for leaders increases as well. What can leaders do to cope with this fog so that their teams remain solid and do not lose faith? This post attempts to answer this question.

The Fog metaphor

Leaders are like drivers in dense fog. They hardly can see what is going around. Like careful drivers, they drive their teams by keeping the distance for fear they may need to apply suddenly the breaks. They keep to the right and use road lines as guiding lines. They refrain from using high lights and only fog lights.

The resilient leaders are the ones that keep probing and adapting to find their way forward in a foggy business environment.

These leaders know when to find a safe zone on the side of the road to park if driving becomes too risky and may result in severe accidents. Those leaders know when to bring the business to a halt until business conditions improve.

Great leaders know how to create safe regions free of fog so that they introduce some confidence and hope in the hearts of their followers. They are the equivalent of rotating helicopter blades that warms the air below and temporarily removes the fog from the ground. Those leaders blow hot air of faith, hope, and confidence so that the team members may feel safe.

Great leaders realize that they should refrain from increasing the fog. Fog increases in polluted environments because water vapors condense on polluting particles and cause more fog. So are great leaders. They do not allow for pebbles of doubt to condense the fog of despair and make the work environment riskier. These leaders know what not to do and do not use the headlights to avoid their glare. Those leaders can sense what is unreal. Fog can create the optical illusion of driving slowly which may prompt them to drive faster. These leaders verify the signals they sense.

Out of the tension, creativity is born. Leaders know this and realize that foggy situations as much as they are risky they provide opportunities for breakthroughs. They have built-in road signs to keep them close to their purpose and mission. They are the light source for teams to feel safer.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. The pandemic itself taught us that we must be able to face the unpredictability, the uncertainty, the “fog” of the future.
    Above all, there is a need for competent leaders who can see things in a broader perspective and decide accordingly. People with the ability to guide their team through difficulties by encouraging the emergence of positive and proactive attitudes.
    In particular, there are three very important attitudes in these times of crisis:
    Be visible. A leader must demonstrate to his team that he is available and present whenever the team needs him. This concerns both the strictly operational and the psychological aspects. You don’t have to hide in the office to mask your uncertainties. The team will most likely also feel in difficulty, and it is good to give people the opportunity to express and share these concerns and then find solutions or guidelines together.
    Be flexible. Change requires innovation and this, in turn, never takes place in conditions of organizational certainty. Some solutions are born out of necessity and it is also necessary to leave room for inevitable errors by focusing on the bottlenecks to be eliminated and the improvements to be introduced.
    Be decisive. Future uncertainty can creep into our actions. Fear of making a bad decision can cause people to not make any decisions. In times of difficulty, our team will seek stability and direction. So we cannot afford to be paralyzed by uncertainty or excess of analysis. Being decisive means being aware that it is the decision that makes the difference.

    • Aldo- Great insight and I love your three very important attitudes in these times of crisis

      Be visible- yes, in fog a leader may not be visible making followers feel lost. This is an important attribute a nd a leader must find a way to stay visible and be able also to see what is going on.

      Be- flexible- a foggy environment is exposed to sudden changes and threats and a leader must be flexible to face unpredicted challenges and obstacles without adding more risk. This reminds me of a sinking person in the sea. If he raises his hand up asking for help he drowns. A leader must know what not to do as much as what to do.

      Be decisive- absolutely, and if he takes the wrong decision he has the resilience to change. There is nothing 100% certain in foggy environments.

      I welcome your very thoughtful comment, Aldo.