“Anyone can lead when the plan is working. The best lead when the plan falls apart.” - Robin Sharma
Recently, the words "uncertainty" and "disruption" have been used a lot as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic requires leaders to go beyond traditional thinking and explore unconventional approaches to disruption in the new era.
We live in a world of uncertainty. Furthermore, it affects virtually every aspect of our lives, from our economy and environment to our personal relationships and careers. As a result, leaders today face many challenges. In most cases, leaders are faced with decisions that require strategic thinking in uncertain or ambiguous circumstances. Setting clear, measurable goals that are aligned with the company's values is important. By using these goals, leaders can find clarity when faced with tough decisions, helping them keep their teams focused.
Uncertainty in Modern World
Leaders face numerous challenges as our world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected. We have seen how much is at stake for corporations, governments, and individuals around the world due to the effects of social media, data exchange, and escalating costs of information security.
COVID-19 is the perfect example of how leadership is tested. It is leaders who bring organizations to new heights during challenging times such as the ongoing pandemic. By spreading panic and uncertainty, the pandemic drastically changed the world and shattered businesses. Many organizations are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The impact of such events is crippling to businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat.
Uncertainty and Leadership Strategies
Managing change and dealing with uncertainty can be challenging even for the most capable leadership team. When faced with rapid change, leaders must constantly reassess their abilities and adjust their leadership team to meet the demands of disruption.
Leadership in an uncertain world involves not only planning for the future but also motivating teams even in the face of adversity. To do this effectively, leaders must be flexible and creative, even when things are difficult, and remain resilient. It's imperative that they clearly articulate their vision for the future, communicate it in an inspiring way, and show people how they can contribute to it.
Employee engagement is the key to maintaining a competitive advantage. To achieve this, senior managers must develop a support system for employees that go beyond a competitive salary and benefits package. When employees work in a supportive and engaging environment, they will have the opportunity to be recognized, develop their skills, and build relationships with other colleagues.
An employee support system that is well-developed can ensure that employees feel validated and proud of their work values at all times. Leaders have an important role to play in fostering a culture of care and support during uncertain times. Employees should receive the tools they need to perform well, stay safe, and address any concerns that arise. During the COVID-19 pandemic as most employees are working from home, this role of a leader is becoming crucial. Through regular and transparent communication, leaders need to ensure that even from the home employees feel they are a part of the organization.
In times of uncertainty, strong leadership is essential for navigating challenges, motivating team members, and creating innovative solutions. An organization can reduce uncertainty by being transparent about what's happening internally as well as externally. Leadership must be transparent with employees not just about what they are doing, but also about why they are doing it. Leading by example is the best way for a leader to inspire optimism in his or her followers. Often, it is the leaders who have to take risks and demonstrate the types of actions required to have business continuity in times of uncertainty, so that employees are inspired to follow suit.
Technological advancements, globalization, and social media have increased the speed of change dramatically over the last decade. With uncertainty all around, people look for leaders to provide them with a positive vision for the future. Leaders have to be agile and innovative while at the same time balancing long-term sustainability with short-term results. In uncertain times, leaders must understand the challenges of their team and position them to succeed in a marketplace where changes are happening faster than ever. We need leaders who can see the bigger picture and understand the nuances of complex situations, so they can make a real difference in societies that are becoming more global and interdependent.