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Leadership in uncertain times

Posted Oct 22 2008 9:30pm

A question I like to pose to participants of Leadership Challenge workshops is: "Did your Personal Best take place in your current organization?" The answer is often no. The next question is why not? During a recent class, this question revealed that fully 1/2 the class had brought stories that took place outside their current organizations. The interesting part was that these stories shared something in common. All of them took place when the participant was thrown into a situation that they were unprepared for. Each found themselves in circumstances that demanded action and they took it. One woman talked about forming a rescue team to drive across the country to New Orleans to rescue animals that had been abandoned in the shleters there. Another talked about creating a college advisory team to help students when the teacher who filled that roll became to ill to work. They found their way to success, evaluating options at each turn and drawing on deep seeded values and a strong sense of commitment to help. If these types of uncertain situations lead to exemplary leadership, doesn't it make sense to embrace the unknown and recognize that how we lead in times of uncetainty can show us a lot about ourselves as leaders. How can we best leverage this learning? I'd love to hear other stories and how you've capitalized on the lessons learned. Got any good ones?

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