We can all be forgiven for feeling an unusual amount of anxiety and fear in these times. Whilst not in the same way as the two recent World Wars we are still, nevertheless, in a fierce battle for the future well-being of our planet and humanity itself. Almost daily marches and protests, constant political confusion and some might say dereliction of duty and huge economic uncertainty are just some of the symptoms.
As leaders however we have to be able to move beyond any fear or anxiety we feel in our own businesses and organisations (and for that matter lives) – not by pushing it down or away but by facing into it and accessing our courage. The temptation to ignore, overreact, become defensive or overly short term are just some of the reactions that we hear about in our work as consultants.
In reality, our role is to help find whatever clarity can be had and then enable the best decisions to be made given the insights or facts available. Working in the space of complexity and what might often feel like chaos demands a new approach. We are less able to rely on the tried and tested ways of getting things done. We have to stretch into new ways and new collaborations – most often with our own teams and sometimes beyond.
Leadership in uncertain times doesn’t call for more stoic certainty or autocratic direction – it calls for an openness, greater reliance on sensing, a sharing and inclusive approach, strengthening of relationships, and even more powerful conversations and dialogue.
As leaders, our role becomes coach, mentor, and enabler as we provide support and guidance along with assurances that we can and will all do our best if we navigate the challenges together.
This leadership inspires and accesses not only the leader’s courage but also that of their teams…and that multiplier effect must mean that new ideas and solutions will surely bear fruit.