Dealing with leadership chaos
How to handle unstable situations
Stability in leadership and the resulting organisational resilience is a valuable asset.
Recently, however, even large and world-renowned corporations have shown that there is unpredictability internally around leadership culture. Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter and an almost daily deteriorating situation shows that leadership continues to be a key tool to either show resilience or to experience unrest, rumours and destabilisation.
How can you prepare your organisation for unstable situations?
Chaotic leadership conditions are currently seen in numerous cases across all sectors. FIFA bans the Danish national team from wearing the words Human Rights For All on their jerseys, claiming this is a political message. FIFA thus considers even fundamental human rights negotiable under the guise of a pseudo-regulatory system far from today’s demands. Well-known brands such as KPMG and EY have recently been in the crossfire of criticism. A fake account pretending to speak on behalf of the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly was verified by Twitter and tweeted that insulin was now available at no charge, causing the stock price to plummet. A book titled When McKinsey Comes To Town discusses sharp criticism of the well-known consulting firm.
Chaos in leadership is omnipresent at the moment.
Especially in these chaotic situations, leaders’ transparent, understandable and plausible decisions are all the more critical. Always consider four situations.
Situation 1: simple decisions. You can derive these from the knowledge and expertise you have. Facts lead to a solution.
Situation 2: complicated decisions. Here you need knowledge of a more in-depth factual situation. Experience in such situations is beneficial for communicating your decisions appropriately.
Situation 3: complex decisions. Here, for the first time, you cannot decide solely based on the facts, as aspects lie beyond your area of influence. Whether decisions are made by politicians, regulatory changes that need to be anticipated or force majeure events such as a global pandemic — your task as a manager is to make decisions even when the data available is insufficient. Leaders who are incapable of making decisions are unsuitable for higher positions.
Situation 4: chaotic situational decisions. These moments are rare, but they are the ones that offer you no data, no patterns of action, and no best practice guidelines from the industry. You have to decide in entirely unknown territory.
Depending on your position in the organisation, it is up to you to prepare for such situations. Almost any decision is better than no decision.
It is now time for you to actively position yourself in the organisation to clarify your views, ideas and desired actions. Position yourself clearly in favour of ideas that you support. Speak out clearly and justifiably against those you do not believe will benefit the organisation — network with the people who support you along the way. However, also speak up when people in the organisation are, in your view, either pursuing the wrong or purely personal interests. The better prepared you are, the better you will be able to react in different situations. As a leader, all four of the above situations will happen to you sooner or later. Dealing with them requires good preparation, excellent leadership skills and a high level of leadership excellence.
Do you care about excellent leadership?
Let’s talk: NB@NB-Networks.com.