From my conversations with leaders, and my observations on what’s been happening around us, it seems that we have two very different challenges right now, and one overarching priority.
These are “doing” challenges.
We have the same sort of challenges we’re used to, but no easy, “proven” answers. We understand the problem, can describe it, and know what’s needs to happen to meet it, but not how to go about it
We are going to have to come to terms with different categories of risk. We are going to have to come to terms with our own fear, and that of others. We are going to have to own the challenge, take decisions, and hold ourselves accountable.
Uncomfortable, but doable. We call it leadership.
These are “being” challenges
There are those at the moment who look like a clip from a horror film. They went to sleep one night, comfortable in their surroundings and confident in their position in the world. They understood the rules of the game, had played it well, supported by others like them. They were respectable and felt entitled.
Then, they woke up to find themselves somewhere totally unfamiliar. Their friends have gone. They don’t understand the game, and there do not appear to be any rules.
They find themselves wandering aimlessly, bumping into things, blaming others and issuing commands to others to sort challenges they cannot define. “Just make it go away”
They have a “being” problem. They are not grounded, and have nowhere to stand.
As we go about our business today we need clarity. If we don’t have it, we need to either find it, or follow somebody we trust who has until we find our own.
There is little more dangerous than a confused person in a leadership role.
Right now, we have tens of thousands of displaced employees and young people needing to decide what steps they take.
The sight of those they were looking to for leadership uttering words of clearly false bravado whilst exhibiting what can only be described as incoherent incompetence is more than unsettling.
We can accept uncertainty providing we have competent leaders. Confused leaders just need to step down gracefully. This is not their time.
We are all leaders
We are all leaders in our own world, the only variable is the number of people who follow us.
We can all embrace uncertainty if we talk to each other, rather than at each other.
Confusion can lead us down a very dangerous path.