How to lead effectively in uncertain times

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Decision making can be difficult when certain, but it is not as difficult as making decisions in uncertain times. Leaders need to make good decisions, whatever the outcome. In some cases where the risks are minimal and the effects can be familiar, leadership becomes much easier and quicker. But in situations of uncertainty, such as unforeseen events, making decisions without looking at every option available can spell disaster.

A leader needs insight into both the lack of certainty and the extreme tension/uncertainty before they can think about their options and take advantage of everything available to them at any given time. They need this knowledge, so they know what actions will or will not work for different types of situations, allowing them to properly assess their situation and make an informed decision accordingly.

In some cases, we have enough information to assess the likely outcome of a decision. These decisions are much easier than others, because you can look at past data or past experiences and know that the future will follow a similar pattern. In these cases, it’s easy to make a difficult choice for yourself. For example, when you drop a glass of water on the ground, it expands; So, it’s obvious what happens when you’re dropping things around liquids—this type of phenomenon is called fixed.

Some people think risk and uncertainty are the same thing, but they couldn’t be more wrong than that. While both involve unpredictable outcomes, risk involves unknown constraints, whereas uncertainty is something that cannot be determined due to lack of data. To say that someone took a risk would imply that they knew all the possible outcomes; However, with uncertain events, there is also little information about how bad things can happen – meaning it is nearly impossible to plan ahead for when an option seems like a possible future reality.

RELATED: How to Be a Successful Change Leader

leadership in the midst of change

Making successful change is one of the most difficult and biggest problems facing modern organizations. The world is changing rapidly, and for companies to survive, they need to drive positive change. Without doing things differently, it becomes almost impossible for a company to be successful in such a competitive environment. Yet, even when it is necessary to make an organizational change, many companies fail miserably because they do not understand what changes are needed and which strategies will work best, according to the research. And this failure rate is even higher than the success rate! To successfully drive change in the company, effective leadership skills are essential. For leaders hoping to drive positive change within their organization, understanding how you can use these three C’s of change leadership – commitment, communication and collaboration – can be a guide to success.


Change is the first aspect of leadership communication. When it comes to bringing about positive change in the organization, communication plays a vital role. Leaders should engage with their employees and tell them what and why. It is necessary to tell them about the purpose of bringing this change within the organization and why it is important. The leader must communicate with the entire organization to ensure that there is no resistance. Change must be communicated at all levels – no one should be left behind, as it can cause problems. When leaders make change decisions without communicating with their employees at all levels, problems and resistance arise, and this can negatively affect change.

RELATED: The 5 Most Important Aspects of Leading Others in Times of Change


Effective leaders are those who collaborate with their employees to ensure that the change they are about to bring will be successful. Leaders who are not effective do not involve their employees in the decision-making process because they feel that the decision they have made is the best. However, this can hinder successful change. Effective leaders encourage their employees to leave their comfort zones and think outside the box. Therefore, before taking any decision, they consult with their employees and gather ideas that can help them formulate the right change strategy.

RELATED: 6 Strategies You Need to Run Your Company Through Uncertainty

to promise

To fully commit to change, leaders must ensure that their own behaviors also support that change. Even if it differs from their leadership style, they should come out of their comfort zone to support change, because only then can it be implemented successfully. Effective leaders are those who know how to adapt to a changing environment and deal with their own challenges, and this is extremely important when driving change in an organization.

This is part one of a three-part series. Stay tuned for more advice on executive leadership in uncertain times!