When we run a business or execute a project, we set clear goals of what we want to achieve, create detailed plans, devise strategies and set up milestones. But leadership, just like life, is ambiguous and paradoxical.
People default, conflicts happen, clients change their requirements, demand/supply suddenly flips, things just don’t work as expected, delays happen, difficult questions arise and contrasting view points come up. Amidst all these uncertainties, do leaders give up? Certainly no. Leonardo da Vinci said,
“That painter who has no doubts will achieve little.”
The rate of change is so rapid these days, that ambiguity is ubiquitous, and certainty, an illusion. Hence, ability to thrive on uncertainty is crucial for our growth as leaders and professionals.
It is amidst uncertainty and ambiguity that we tend to be at our creative best, doing a lot of intuitive thinking and coming up with solutions as we go. Fresh perspectives emerge and new insights unfold as we work our way through the foggy road ahead.
When you reach the destination you set out for, working through all the ambiguities, the satisfaction level is also much higher. Not only because you achieved the goal, but in the process, you learned a great deal about people, situations, paradoxes and about managing uncertainty. Your work shines through.
Having said that, you should never be a source of ambiguity as a leader. Your job as a leader is to provide clarity to your team, while managing the external uncertainties.
So, a few questions for all of us as we start a new week:
Assess your inclination towards certainty. Do you get frustrated when faced with an uncertainty or paradox? Does a lot of certainty give you a sense of comfort?
If yes, what behaviors could you change to be more comfortable with external uncertainties, work through it and get more creative?
– – – – –