Friday, December 5, 2014

Leadership Under Uncertainty

Being a leader is difficult in any circumstance.  However, becoming a successful leader in a constantly changing environment requires that you posses exceptional characteristics that flourish when times get tough. Change and uncertainty increase the challenges that a leader has to face, and it is not always easy. We live in a world that is constantly changing, where uncertainty is always certain.

We live in a world with an unclear and constantly changing set of rules, laws, and procedures, which affects the way people behave or run their businesses; potentially working under the effects of large economic swings, with lower growth, higher inflation or unemployment rates, a legal system that does not promote free trade or real competition, not to mention the difficult political situations that exists in several countries.

Today, leaders have to excel in uncertainty. These leaders have strong qualities and values, with an optimist’s approach to life. They have the characteristics of a strong performer, always working under pressure, having to demonstrate a sense of urgency.

In my best selling book ‘The Ultimate Success Guide’ I talk all about leadership in uncertainty.   In part, I talk about the 10 characteristics that I believe a great leader has to have in uncertain times.  These 10 characteristics are:

1. Commitment – The leader has a commitment to one’s people and co-workers in order to continuously demonstrate their presence with them in their own terrain, showing responsibility above all.

2. Understanding – A leader is capable and needs to listen, watch and understand all changing and uncertain circumstances, even when all of the information is not present. A leader is in touch with the people and understands their necessities by heart.

3. Connectivity - A leader is able to communicate effectively, creating alliances and relationships with all kinds of people. The leader is in touch with the people on a daily basis, in order to explain the ideas, tasks, responsibilities and challenges to others.

4. Vision - Leaders have a strong and profound vision.  They believe in their own objectives, but they are also willing to look at areas where other people see problems as opportunities. 

5. Values – A true leader believes that the best way to lead the people is by example.  They live by the true values and principles that guide them, maintaining their human and spiritual qualities.

6. Knowledge – A leader is constantly looking for knowledge.  They understand the needs of the society and following the path of continuous education and learning.

7. Creativity and Imagination – Leaders are always implementing creative actions, breaking the rules of traditional schemes. They anticipate the moment, armed with better ideas and solutions in their back pocket. 

8. Motivation – A leader continues to motivate themself as well as others. A leader inspires the ones that need guidance through speech and actions.

9. Competitive Attitude – A leader is armed with a positive attitude and with the motivation to achieve the impossible. They organize a better view of the future and unify their followers.

10. Take Action – Now knowing all these qualities that make a real leader, you need to take action; to decide, make opinions, to go ahead under real conditions, to be the best all the time, to bring out the best in all others, and to show the people what you are made of.  In some instances, you will need to deliver under the most difficult circumstances, and this is what will make you a complete and a true leader.

My father once summed it up excellently writing “leaders are always people who see beyond the moment, they are likely to excel in the midst of serious problems, creating a vision and motivating people to achieve it”.

Now "it is up to you to become that Great New Leader!"
Luis Vicente Garcia