Friday, August 12, 2022

15 ways to lead in an uncertain environment

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

dr. Vince MolinaroCEO of Leadership Contract Inc., is a bestselling author and advisor to the NY Times on scaling leadership responsibility.

If I’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that the best leaders adapt their leadership to respond to critical tipping points, events that alter and disrupt the normal course of business. And further, that leaders who are unwilling to adapt to inflection points tend to struggle and fail.

inflection points

Inflection points can take many different forms. For some, it may be an opportunity for hypergrowth. For others, it could be a global expansion or some other fundamental shift in business models. Still, others may face the unique challenges associated with mergers and acquisitions.

Do any of these look familiar to you? In one way or another, all leaders deal with inflection points. So, what can we do to better address these critical moments of change and disruption?

The leaders I work with tend to demonstrate similar approaches. They preach the value of keeping one eye on business operations and another firmly on external events and trends. They also emphasize the need to keep their teams updated so they can respond accordingly.

Unfortunately, many leaders are so preoccupied with day-to-day tasks that they don’t have time to keep an eye on the outside world. I’m not saying that executing priorities isn’t important, but all leaders should periodically lift their heads and see what’s coming their way so they can adapt.

My own research shows that this ability to study and adapt to external events is a core capability of truly responsible leaders. As I describe in my book, Responsible leadersthese leaders regularly find clarity, even when the current circumstances are anything but clear.

Here’s another thing I’ve learned: While we certainly need senior leaders to respond to inflection points, leaders at all levels need to be able to recognize disruptions and adapt. You can’t really be responsible until you understand your external environment.

In addition to the two strategies above, here are my top 15 strategies for managing an inflection point.

• Appreciate the personal impact. Take the time to understand the pressure, control and demands you face in your leadership role.

• Develop personal insight about yourself. Asking for feedback from trusted colleagues, colleagues and direct reports is an effective way to learn more about yourself. Self-awareness is also increased through personal reflection. Many leaders use daily practices such as journaling, walking, reading, or quiet time to reflect on their role as leaders.

• Scan your business environment. Keep an eye on events outside your organization and identify the events that will affect you the most.

• Understand your company’s strategy. It amazes me how many leaders lack clarity about their company’s strategy. Don’t wait for clarity to come to you; dig deep and discover your organization’s long-term strategy and the role you can play.

• Understand the changes taking place in your business. As with strategy, you must make a deliberate effort to identify all changes in your organization.

• Bring clarity to your team. As you gain insight into your company’s strategy and changes, take the time to update your team on this information.

• Connect with colleagues and colleagues. You can learn a lot from formal and informal conversations with peers. Make it a point to reach out and make contacts regularly.

• Be optimistic. The best leaders show optimism about their organization and its future, even in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. Your teams look to you to inspire them for the future.

• Understand leadership expectations. Consider how external drivers are shifting people’s expectations of you as a leader and how to take it one step further.

• Broaden your perspective. The complexity of today’s business world requires leaders to have broad perspectives, drawn from an extensive knowledge base. Leaders must be eclectic thinkers and learn outside their area of ​​expertise.

• Be an observer. Another way to gain perspective is to learn to routinely go outside of yourself and be an observer as you interact with others.

• Read as much as you can. What are your go-to resources for keeping you up to date with what’s happening in your industry and the world at large? Never stop investigating.

• Stay connected. Assemble a core group of advisors to whom you can go for periodic discussions on the business issues that matter most to you.

• Don’t get complacent. Change is fast, and those who can adapt the fastest usually get a head start. Those who hold on to old patterns and ways of thinking will have a hard time.

• Commit to lead the future. Businesses today need leaders at all levels who are fully committed to lead through critical tipping points. Be a leader your business can count on when the going gets tough.

Final Thoughts

The world for leaders will remain a complex and challenging place. Those who commit to look outward from time to time will help their teams and businesses avoid threats and seize opportunities. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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