Catastrophe is one decision away during turbulence. Reacting makes you look like a fool, eventually.
Wise leaders respond to turbulence; fools react. Reactions are passionate but uninformed. How many times have decisions outrun information? Ouch! That hurts.
Successful leaders respond; failures react.
“Make it go away,” reflects self-serving reaction. “What caused this,” begins organization-serving response. Circumstances control reactionary leaders; they feel pushed around. Principles guide responsive leaders; they face into the wind.
Establish direction before solving issues.
10 Ways to respond to turbulence:
- Define smooth sailing. Is smooth sailing an option?
- Predict duration. Is this a squall?
- Explore intensity. Is this a hurricane?
- Examine history. How long has this been brewing?
- Who or what is at the center? People who consistently cause turbulence won’t solve it.
- What behaviors, attitudes, or circumstances instigated turbulence? Should they stop or continue?
- Describe the best next step? Forget perfection.
- Are you navigating by the stars or controlled by the wind?
- What new turbulence does the next step create?
- Is public response warranted?
Bonus: Identify, support, authorize, and follow champions who lead through turbulence.
Sometimes the ship should sink.
Any organization determined to save itself has lost sight of its mission. It’s not worth saving. Think of all the bureaucratic organizations bailing water to stay afloat.
Turbulence purifies and clarifies. Every response to turbulence clarifies the value you bring and how to bring it best. If you don’t bring value you deserve to sink.
“… In a free market the only way to do well is to do well for others.” Gary Hamel
How can leaders navigate turbulence?