One of my favourite sayings is that it’s easy to be a leader when you have a map. Real leadership is about leading when there is no map. And that’s exactly what today’s leaders are all about. In a world where there seems to be no clear vision, no clear path and an imperative to show leadership skills what does today’s leader do?
I recently read an article in The Guardian by Stuart Jeffries. Called “The New Age of Uncertainty”.
He talks about the current situation where so many factors have changed on the political, international and economic stage that there is uncertainty and therefore a lack of confidence in the future.
When the future is uncertain we tend to think about ways of creating certainty. In this scenario the analysis of what may or may not happen becomes an overwhelming task, resulting in what is sometimes known as analysis paralysis – the inability to make a decision because the information available to make a logical decision is incomplete.
So who is best prepared to lead in these circumstances? Stuart references the work of Jonathan Fields, who suggests that those who thrive on uncertainty and are the ones who survive under these circumstances. He says: ”You can train your mind to not only handle the unease that comes from having to consistently act without having all the answers, but embrace and invite it as a signpost that what you’re doing matters.“
There are times when life is full of uncertainty and you develop the skills needed to be adaptable and versatile. You accept being in a state of uncertainty. There are also times in your life when things can become more settled and these skills become less important. However, today’s leader needs to “learn to dance with the unknown” as Fields describes it and be prepared for the unexpected. They need to develop resources and decision–making skills, which allow them to provide direction when the future is unclear and they are the people who will grasp the opportunities which uncertainty presents.
This is a good time to develop your leadership skills by strengthening your inner confidence and your sense of what is right. It’s time to absorb news and information about what is going on in the world and make time be still and reflect. This is the time to hone your leadership skills and become a leader who is comfortable with uncertainty.
The New Age of Uncertainty by Stuart Jeffries in The Guardian 27 July 2016
Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields
Izzy Ixer, 30 July 2016