The antidote to chaos is clarity, vision, and decisiveness. How leaders respond to uncertainty and ambiguity.

Great leaders respond to uncertainty and ambiguity with focus, courage, and empathy.

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“Perfection is the enemy of the good.

Listed below are the key highlights from an off the cuff interview by Dr. Michael J Ryan, WHO Executive Director at a virtual press conference on March 15th, 2020. The entire press briefing is available here:

  1. If you need to be right before you move, you will never win.
  2. Perfection is the enemy of the good.
  3. Speed trumps perfection.
  4. The problem we have with society at the moment is the fear of making a mistake.
  5. Everyone is afraid of the consequence of an error, but the greatest error is to be paralyzed by inaction because of the fear of failure.

Decisiveness matters

Leadership in organizations, businesses, communities amid grave uncertainties must be decisive and courageous. It is what silences fear!

If you encounter a great leader, one of the key attributes is decisiveness. Great leaders act decisively because they start from the ‘known’ to the ‘unknown’ variables with precision. By so doing they obtain goodwill and drive their organization, teams, and people forward.

Great leaders start from what is known and pivot towards the unknown.

Understand The Change

The “Kubler-Ross” change model is an accurate depiction of the phases your organization, teams and individuals will go through during an unprecedented change like what is currently happening with the COVID_19 virus. Emotions ranging from denial, depression and acceptance over time and as a leader, these prevailing sentiments should be expected so be empathic.

React to the change

As a leader, consider the pervasive emotions of the curve and act accordingly as you navigate the uncertainty that lies ahead —

  • In the denial phase – communicate clearly and frequently.
  • In the frustration and depression phase – be watchful and observant then speak to express support.
  • In the experiment phase – gently lead by assessing the risks, possibilities, and opportunities frequently.
  • In the decision phase – encourage action, engagement and continue to communicate clearly and consistently what you know.
  • In the integration phase – all the approaches from prior phases should be applied with an emphasis on being empathetic with people as they gradually embrace the new normal.

Finally, I am certain that amid chaos, uncertainty, and panic, our hope, faith, and sense of community must remain strong. I am confident that “we” will by God’s grace and with the medical/scientific communities’ expertise, guidance, and hard work overcome this virus.

But for now, buckle up for the bumpy ride ahead without losing hope.

Be fearless

Remember, to be fearless is to truly ‘fear less’.

Dr. Flo is dedicated to helping leaders and organizations humanize and maximize disruptions. He is the Hybrid Leader, a Leadership Development & Transformational Change Expert @Slalom, Speaker & Executive Coach.

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