The Courage To Lead In Uncertain Times

You are invited to read an article I wrote about leading in uncertain times.


Leaders are required to move their team, department or their company forward, to engage the employees, to generate interest and commitment, to nurture the ability to grow and develop and to be open to continuous change.

Hundreds of articles have been written about the complex reality we live in, the dynamism and the constant change that requires us to demonstrate flexibility, adopt new patterns, and especially to succeed in moving forward and motivating others in a complex period characterized by great uncertainty.

In order to do this, we have to leave our comfort zone sometimes and abandon the automatic habits that govern us on a daily basis. Automatic behavior means actions we do inadvertently, without “thinking twice”. This behavior has advantages in certain situations, especially during periods of stability, and it serves us faithfully and leads to the desired results. For example, if a manager is supposed to complete a report at the end of each month, the advantage is that there is no need to think each time how to fill out the report. The action does not require much energy and time.

On the other hand, when do automatic actions not serve us? Especially when we want to produce different, new results. The automatic habits can lead to stagnation and then the results will not serve us. In other words, sometimes automatic behavior that has served us for a certain period of time does not serve us any longer.

Throughout our lives we all adopt automatic behaviors, for example: to say “no” to any new opportunity, to please others and to give up our voice, avoid confrontations and more. On the other hand, it is possible to act differently, to “explode” and to jump with great force in the face of any disagreement or confrontation. As long as the behavior serves and benefits us, we have no desire to change it, but when we feel that it no longer serves us and feels that we are stuck, we must stop and examine what is happening.

What is the same behavior? For example, some tend to avoid confrontation and desire to harmonize with those around them. Often this tendency leads us to reduce our personal space and our ability to influence what is happening. As managers, it also prevents us from defending the interests of our employees because we bother other people and avoid entering areas of conflict. In my experience, this automaton leaves no room for that person or manager to do so, and he can not bring himself to be seen: the mere consent to all that is said to him or his avoidance of confrontation reduces his influence and his space. In time, he may feel that he can no longer tolerate the situation and reach the opposite extreme of an explosion or “break down the dishes. This situation does not come from a choice but from the feeling that it is no longer possible to bear the previous situation.

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