If there was ever a time that underscored the importance of leaders being able to execute in the face of uncertainty, it would certainly be within the past few years.
A global pandemic, the evolving economic climate, and the rapidly changing workforce dynamic have all added a level of anticipation to our day-to-day. While we might expect leaders to consistently be prepared to evolve, being nimble can be much easier said than done. Leading a team through such an ever-changing environment can be daunting and even discouraging without the right tools and mindsets.
In my experience with being a leader and encountering both personal and professional unknowns, I’ve found some helpful perspectives that keep myself, and my teams, encouraged and focused on the positive. I discuss these outlooks and tools at more length in my recently-released book, Your Life is Not A To Do List: Tools for a More Joyful Entrepreneurial Journey. Throughout, I stress the importance of rolling with the punches and handling the surprises life throws at us like all-star leaders!
Read on for a taste of what you can expect in my book and for some of my favorite mindsets for leading during times of change. Keep these tips handy when unforeseen circumstances roll around. After all, as a wise philosopher once said, “The only constant in life is change.”
Mindset One: Work with What You Know
It can be so easy to focus on uncertainty and the potential for unexpected situations to arise. In these moments, it’s important to shift your focus to the things you do know.
For example, if your team structure is changing because of layoffs, restructuring, or a merger, and you are unsure how best to delegate, start by writing a list of everything that needs to be completed – this is what we already know. Make sure that each task has at least some level of coverage (if even temporarily) – you can outline the specifics later. Of course, make sure your team is aware that throughout this transition, it could require work beyond their normal scope.
This mindset is like an instant relaxer and productivity agent. Instead of scrambling and stumbling, you are more likely to provide calm and clear direction that lets your team know you are considering the change and how it might impact them. It also prevents things from slipping through the cracks and causing even greater instability and anxiety.
Mindset Two: Avoid Analysis Paralysis
Analysis paralysis and perfectionism go hand-in-hand. Underpinning the overthinking is the mindset that we can “outthink” a perceived threat or uncertainty. Especially with high-achievers, the default inclination is to make the correct move or gather as much information as possible so that we don’t need to risk making mistakes.
Part of being agile is being decisive and operating with conviction. The truth is that you will make a mistake. But, you should also cut yourself some slack. Understand that you did your best with what you knew at the time and that you dealt with the most important priority, which was helping your team regain stability.
Mindset Three: Lean on Others
More likely than not, those around you have also experienced uncertainty at some point in their lives (and might be in the same situation as you). It never hurts to find an ally to help you weather the storm.
Remember that there is power in numbers and that there is no shame in admitting you don’t know the answer to everything. In fact, this admission of vulnerability is often refreshing to see in a leader. Resolve to be transparent with your team and find partners you can rely on for advice or even just as sounding boards to workshop solutions.
Let’s Get Your Company Running on EOS
To learn more about useful mindsets and tools, book a call with me so we can start guiding you to a more joy-filled, entrepreneurial life. Together, we’ll use the EOS framework and help you lead through times of change.