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Three Modern Leadership Mindsets For Success In Chaotic Times – by Erik Kruger

The world continues to evolve at an incredible pace. In fact, it is a very daunting place to exist in at the moment.

What makes it so daunting is that there are three things happening at the same time:

  1. The speed of change has increased. We see this in all facets of life and business.
  2. There is an incredible accumulative effect. Dealing with one big change is challenging. How about dealing with multiple changes like covid, working from home, relocation, losing a job, starting a new one, loadshedding, petrol hikes, and a war.
  3. The size of change has increased. Whether it’s just our perception of the change or whether it’s the actual size of change. It all just feels a lot bigger to deal with.

In this article, I want to share 3 mindsets that I believe will make you more successful in such modern and chaotic times.

Chaos Management

The most useless advice we can give to people is “don’t worry”. Even though the intention is good, it simply does not translate into reality. People can’t help but worry.

Perhaps then instead of saying don’t worry – we should focus our attention on worrying about the things that matter. There are countless things that could affect your existence however only a handful of them ever will.

The best approach here is to train your thinking. This means catching those thoughts and worries that might lead you astray and then redirecting your attention to the things that matter.

Exercise creativity

Creativity is often seen as something that ‘creative types’ do. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The original Latin word for creative was creare it meant to create or to bring into being.

When you are creative you are creating something new. Not only is this vital for creating the future you want but it’s also a way of expressing yourself and your way of thinking about the world.

We are living in a world where a lot of creation is now permissionless. You don’t need anyone’s permission to create a video, or a podcast, or a new service, or product. More than that, through the internet we have access to the tools and people we need to bring our every dream into existence.

Pay attention to the nuance

Certainty has left the building and will most likely not return for a while. What this means is that you will have fewer and fewer moments where you will be able to make decisions with full conviction that this is the right thing to do.

So, leaders must learn to operate in the space between black and white. We now live in a ‘it-depends era’. When I attended business school, I quickly learnt that the answer to every question was – it depends. It depends because context changes, the environment changes, everything changes. The right thing to do today might be the wrong thing tomorrow.

The best way to deal with nuance is simply to pay more attention to it. Get off autopilot and be more intentional with how you make decisions knowing that sometimes you will get it right and sometimes you will be wrong. But either way, if you are paying attention then you are learning, and your judgment will improve over time.

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