Leadership Amid Chaos

If you thought business decision-making was already hard, how about decision-making when there is no actual solution – yet a decision still has to be made?

Yes, that’s VUCA again, tying back to our blog post last month about a “VUCA world” (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous). In the book Leaders Make the Future, author Bob Johansen outlines 10 leadership skills that will be critical to business-success in the chaos of the next decade. Besides buying the book on Amazon, we’ve also found a couple of good summaries at Leadership Now and Emerging RN Leaders.

Here are the top-5 leadership skills from the book that we found most thought-provoking:

  1. The Maker Instinct – Making and shaping the future, rather than passively accepting it. A design-perspective combined with a can-do attitude.
  2. Dilemma Flipping – A dilemma is a situation that requires a difficult choice between two or more undesirable alternatives. Leaders need to be able to frame dilemmas as opportunities without oversimplifying them.
  3. Immersive Learning – Learning by doing, not just observing. Leaders should plunge into unfamiliar environments rather than resisting them.
  4. Constructive Depolarizing – Leaders will need to be able to cool emotionally-charged situations within a team and bring polar opposites to “constructive engagement” (try this one with your kids…).
  5. Rapid Prototyping – Quickly coming up with possible solutions, trying them out, refining them – and doing it again. This process accepts early failures as progress toward success.