How to Lead Effectively in Uncertain Times

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Making decisions when there is certainty can be difficult, but it is not as difficult as having to decide in uncertain times. Leaders must make good decisions, whatever the outcome. In certain cases where the risks are minimal and the effects may be familiar, leadership becomes very easy and fast. But in situations of uncertainty, such as unpredictable events, making a decision without seeing all the available options could lead to disaster.

A leader needs to know both lack of certainty and extreme stress/uncertainty before he can think through his options and take advantage of whatever is available to him at any given time. They need this knowledge so they know what actions will or will not work for different types of conditions, allowing them to properly assess their situation and make an informed decision accordingly.

In some cases, we have enough information to assess the likely outcome of a decision. These decisions are much easier than others, because you can look at data or past experiences and know that the future will follow a similar pattern. In such cases, making difficult decisions for yourself is easy. For example, when you drop a glass of water on the floor, it spills; so it’s clear what happens when you drop things around liquids: this kind of event is called true.

Some people think that risk and uncertainty are the same thing, but they couldn’t be more wrong. While both involve unexpected outcomes, risk involves unknown probabilities, while uncertainty is something that cannot be determined due to lack of data. To say that someone took a risk would mean that they knew all the possible outcomes; however, with uncertain events, you don’t even know how bad things could go, which means it’s nearly impossible to plan ahead for anything that might happen next when any option seems like a possible future reality.

Related: How to Become a Successful Change Leader

Leadership in the midst of change

Making a successful change is one of the biggest and most difficult problems facing modern organizations. The world is changing rapidly, and in order for businesses to survive, they must bring about positive change. Without doing things differently, it is almost impossible for the company to succeed in such a competitive environment. Yet even when organizational change is needed, many companies continue to fail miserably, because they don’t understand what changes are needed and what strategies will work best, according to research. And that failure rate is also higher than the success rate! To achieve successful change in the company, effective leadership skills are essential. For leaders hoping to bring about positive change in their organization, understanding how you can use these three Cs of change leadership (commitment, communication, and collaboration) could be a sufficient guide to success.

to communicate

The first C of change leadership is communication. When it comes to bringing positive change to the organization, communication plays a fundamental role. Leaders need to connect with their employees and tell them what and why. You need to explain to them the purpose of bringing this change to the organization and why it is important. The leader must communicate with the entire organization to ensure there is no resistance. Change must be communicated at all levels; no one should be left behind, because it can cause problems. When leaders make a decision to change without communicating with their employees at all levels, problems and resistance occur and can negatively impact the change.

Related: The 5 Most Important Aspects of Leading Others in Times of Change

to collaborate

Effective leaders are those who collaborate with their employees to ensure that the change they are about to bring about will be a success. Leaders who are not effective do not include their employees in the decision-making process, because they think that what they have decided is the best. However, this can make the change more difficult. Effective leaders encourage their employees to leave their comfort zones and think outside the box. Thus, before making any decision, they consult with their employees and collect ideas that can help them design the right change strategies.

Related: 6 Strategies You Need to Lead Your Business Through Uncertainty


In order to fully commit to change, leaders must ensure that their own behaviors also support that change. Even if it is different from their leadership style, they must leave their comfort zone to support the change, because only then will it be successfully implemented. Effective leaders are those who know how to adapt to the changing environment and face its challenges, and it is extremely important to do this while bringing changes to an organization.

This is the first part of a three-part series. Stay tuned for more tips on executive leadership in uncertain times!

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