Leading through uncertainty can be challenging, but it’s a critical skill for any successful leader. In a discussion with Bill McCall, Dean Aloise, and Marjorie Ngwenya, the panellists shared their perspectives on how to lead through uncertainty.  A link to the recording of the discussion can be found at the end of this summary.

Clear Communication 

The panel members agreed that communication is crucial for leading through uncertainty. Leaders should be transparent about the situation and regularly communicate with their teams to keep them informed. They should also encourage open communication and create a safe space for their teams to ask questions and voice their concerns. By fostering open communication, leaders can build trust and ensure that everyone is on the same page. 


Another critical element of leading through uncertainty is adaptability. Leaders must be willing to pivot their strategies and plans as the situation evolves. This requires a willingness to take risks and be flexible in their approach. Dean Aloise noted that leaders should be willing to experiment and learn from their mistakes. By doing so, they can quickly adapt to changing circumstances and find new solutions to emerging challenges. 


The panel members also emphasized the importance of building resilience within themselves and their teams. Leaders should be able to bounce back from failures and setbacks and help their teams do the same. This requires a growth mindset and a willingness to learn from mistakes. By building resilience, leaders can create a culture of continuous improvement and progress. 


Bill McCall highlighted the importance of focusing on the most critical priorities during uncertain times. Leaders should identify what is most important and focus on those priorities to make the most of limited resources. By doing so, organizations can stay on track and achieve their goals despite the uncertainty. 


Marjorie Ngwenya emphasized the importance of empathy and regularly providing feedback and recognition to build trust and foster a positive work culture. Leaders should prioritize empathy and understanding towards their teams’ needs and concerns. By doing so, they can create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Providing regular feedback and recognition also helps build trust and motivate employees to perform their best. 

Calculated Risks 

In addition to these elements, leaders must also be decisive during uncertain times. They should be able to make quick decisions based on the available information, even if that information is incomplete or imperfect. This requires a willingness to take calculated risks and make tough decisions under pressure. 


Finally, Dean Aloise made the point that leaders must be able to remain positive and optimistic during uncertain times. They should be able to inspire their teams and help them see the opportunities within the challenges. This requires a growth mindset and a willingness to embrace change and uncertainty. 

In conclusion, leading through uncertainty requires clear communication, adaptability, risk-taking, building resilience, prioritizing empathy, regular feedback and recognition, being decisive, and remaining positive and optimistic. By following these principles, leaders can help their teams navigate through uncertain times and come out stronger on the other side. It’s important to note that leading through uncertainty is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and leaders must be willing to adjust their strategies as the situation evolves. By doing so, they can help their teams thrive and succeed in the face of uncertainty. 

A link to a recording of the entire webinar can be found here: Recording: Leading Through a World of Uncertainty

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