Leading during uncertain times

Leading During Uncertain Times

Leaders must be decisive and leading during uncertain times is difficult. The only constant we have these days is uncertainty in every aspect of our lives. Leadership is about influencing others and sharing a vision others choose to embrace. When the leader’s vision is not clear, confusion sets in. When the vision continually changes, people get discouraged. So, what are leaders to do when uncertainty results in a potential change in the vision of the company? For example, a restaurant owner may have the vision to “be the best local restaurant in our city that locals and visitors choose.” The owner’s desire and vision are to also expand to five other cities within the next five years.

The pandemic changed all those plans. And now as we live through the lasting effects of the pandemic, this visionary leader now needs to adjust the expansion plans or even put them on hold altogether. However, the log-term vision does not necessarily have to change. The vision can remain the same, but the desire (and vision) to expand to five cities in the next five years is simply one Strategic Objective and the timeline can be extended or put on hold until the uncertainty subsides.

At the same time, this leader could be experiencing uncertainty at home with kids going to back to school this fall. The countless decisions that parents must make as their kids re-enter school creates additional stress. Leaders who are also parents must also be decisive in the home.

Below are some strategies for leaders to deal with uncertainty at work:

  • Stick to your long-term vision and put Strategic Objectives on hold if necessary.
  • Make decisions with the information you have at the time.
  • If you make the wrong decision, accept the mistake, and communicate the reasons why you made certain decisions.
  • Constant communication with your team is crucial during uncertain times.
  • Be flexible and pivot as needed based on circumstances but don’t lose sight of your long-term goals.

Below are some strategies for leaders to deal with uncertainty at home:

  • Involve your spouse in making decisions for your children. If you are single, reach out to other parents who are in similar situations.
  • Ask for help. You don’t have to go through these uncertain times alone.
  • Ask the school and teachers lots of questions so you are clear of the options for your children.
  • Again, if you make a mistake, acknowledge the mistake and change direction. Communication with your children is also key to getting through uncertain times.
  • Remember each child learns differently. Listen to your children! They will tell you what’s working and what’s not working with them.

I hope these strategies help you navigate the uncertain times we’re living in at work and at home. Most importantly, remember to pray and ask God for direction in your life. We started this blog by stating that the one constant these days is uncertainty. But the other constant is God. He never changes and is always there ready to help you. As stated above, leaders must be decisive and leading during uncertain times is difficult; but you can do it strategically.