Priority Two: Learn how to lead in uncertain times

The world is complex, the future is uncertain.  Despite this people want and need stability, and it is up to leaders to find a way to provide it.

Leaders have to get better at dealing with the complexity of modern times and ensuring their teams do the same.

There’s no “quick fix”, no “single way”, no “sure-fire winner”.  Leaders need to use different styles for different people in different situations.

4 common mistakes when leading through change:

1. Mistaking complexity for complicated

Complicated can usually be solved – complexity usually can’t.  People are complex, and we spend too much time looking for “answers” to the challenges they present. Leaders need to develop new ways of understanding and navigating complex situations.

2. Solving tomorrow’s problem with yesterday’s solution

Our own past experience is not always the best way to solve future problems.  Looking at problems from new perspectives is essential but difficult to achieve on your own.  Get help and be open to what you discover.

3. Seeing the future as a series of “puzzles to be solved”

When we see a puzzle, we tend to settle for the first workable solution.  We stop asking questions and looking for options which could be more effective.  Learn to differentiate between puzzles and problems and be willing to explore alternatives.

4. Not knowing where you’re headed

Being clear on the ultimate destination helps us to stay focused on the long-term and avoid knee-jerk decisions which create even more ambiguity.  Recognise that the change journey often looks more like a river than a canal!


“Keeping it simple” just doesn’t cut it any more – leaders need to get back to learning and broaden their approach.


Find out about all 5 steps to success and see if you have your priorities right.

The 5 steps to success

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