“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from making some of my most valuable mistakes.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
As we try to navigate the bizarre world we’re currently living in, it’s easy to find yourself frozen. Normally when we make decisions, we feel at least some level of confidence in our predictions about the future. We have a reasonable expectation that X will happen, therefore it’s probably good to do Y. Right now most leaders feel very little of that confidence.
Despite that being the case, as leaders we still have to act. We can’t just cease functioning until we’re more confident in our forecasts. It could be a long time before most people feel that confidence, and if you simply shut down as a leader for an extended period of time, your business will be irreparably damaged.
I don’t have a magic wand to tell you the future. I can’t guarantee that every decision you make over the next few months will work out perfectly. What I can tell you is you need to stay actively engaged, and be OK with the fact that not everything you do will end up being perfect. If you can learn as you go, you’re going to get a lifetime of leadership training in a matter of months.
Small example: Right now, a lot of organization are adjusting to employees working somewhere other than the office for long periods of time. Managing that isn’t like managing when everybody’s in one spot, and in many ways it’s more challenging. You will have some missteps, but those missteps will help you and your business function at a higher level down the road. It won’t be easy, but on the other end of this craziness you’ll be a better leader for a better organization.
Remember that, despite how you may feel now, there will be opportunities in the future. They might look different than the ones you’ve had in the past, and they might require different capabilities, but they will be there. If you freeze up now, if you hide under your desk, if you curl up into a ball and try not to move until it all goes away, then you’ll miss those opportunities. Don’t let that happen. This is when leadership really matters, so get out there and get to work.