Leadership in Times of V.U.C.A.

Leadership in Times of V.U.C.A.

When business and life are good, leadership seems easy. When business or life is challenging leadership is more vital than ever.

We are living in a time of VUCA, a concept that originated decades ago with students at the U.S. Army War College. It has been recently used in business management and leadership training. This is what we are facing as business owners and leaders now.

What VUCA Means

  • VOLATILITY – The increasing pace of change
  • UNCERTAINTY – Unpredictability of the future
  • COMPLEXITY – Lack of clarity about the meaning
  • AMBIGUITY – Unclear about the present

Communication is key

I did my research and the next step was a meeting with our team. We had it in the shop instead of our meeting room for social distancing’s sake.

  • The fact: We’re an essential business and needed in the community. We will stay open so long as we have the work to keep our team employed and safe.
  • The plan: To keep the pipeline of work coming in, organizing, and realize the opportunity for more training.
  • How does that play out:  Sanitizing for the safety of our team, customers, vendors/suppliers, and community, increase marketing efforts, Change up our messaging.

My Goal:

I wanted to let them know that we are in this together and give them something they can take home as well.

  • Clarity We can not control what is happening, but we can control how we react to it. How we talk to our family and friends who may be watching the new all day can make a difference.
  • VisionKeep the direction in front of them. Employment. We’ve never missed a paycheck since 1999 and we don’t want to.
  • Understanding – Break down steps being taken so they feel secure. Look into reduced hours if need be to keep insurance in place. Unemployment is the last resort.
  • Agility – Keep everyone updated and get their feedback. I addressed all questions or concerns they had and noted the importance of being focused on the quality of work. I also left resource information in the lunchroom.

Yes, this is a difficult time, so it’s easy to get sucked into the fear. There is a difference between concern and fear. Concerns will lead to a search for solutions. Fear can consume you and stop you from finding solutions.  

The problem with fear is that you will lose time worrying about something you can’t control. I’m concerned about the situation but I choose to spend my time productively because time is one thing I can’t get back.

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