In a great article on LinkedIn ‘Leading and Managing in a VUCA World’ my friend and colleague Gihan Perera says:
“You might have come across the term “VUCA”, which has been borrowed from the U.S. military and is now often used in a business context to describe our world today. It’s an acronym that stands for “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” – and that’s a pretty good description of our world now:
Volatile: Things are changing fast, often and in big ways
Uncertain: It’s difficult to predict the future – even in the short term
Complex: There are many factors that affect anything
Ambiguous: Things are hazy, fuzzy, and not clearly defined
In a nutshell, it says: Our world is messy.
Many leaders struggle to lead in this VUCA world.
If you’re a leader who has been used to leading by example, leading from the front, leading by showing the way to your people, or leading because you have greater knowledge and experience, you might struggle in this VUCA world. After all, if the world keeps changing, how can you possibly give your people the guidance and direction they have come to expect from you?”
Gihan suggests 4 great ways for dealing with VUCA which you can read here.
If VUCA is what’s going on in the outside world, and I believe it is, what’s going on inside you as a leader is more important than ever.
Real leadership is a inner game first. If VUCA is dominating your intentions, feelings, and thoughts, then your behaviours are mirroring these three because as ancient wisdom says “As within, so without.”
One of the reasons that people management, the concept that we have to plan, organise, and control what other people do, is dead, is because in a VUCA world people are rejecting the feeling that their destiny is in someone else’s hands.
I believe that remarkable leaders today are first and foremost human beings who are fully alive which is the subject matter of Sparkenation 21 in my Changing What’s Normal book.
Here’s part of what I say in the book
“When I was a boy my father often used to say that a key to living a good life was to be spiritually alive, mentally alert, and physically active.
Over time I added emotionally healthy and universally aware and thereby created what I call the five faces of a human being fully alive.
For me, being spiritually alive is the fertile ground of living a good life.
When we are spiritually alive we feel valued. When we feel valued we are best able to capitalise on our unique gifts/talents in the service of others, show our true character, and be committed, courageous, honest, and to live with integrity.
For me being emotionally healthy is the ploughing. When we are emotionally healthy we feel at peace. When we feel at peace we are able to be caring, joyful, kind, open, patient, passionate. Feeling at peace is sometimes hard work. Yet the work ends in joy.
For me being mentally alert is the seeding. When we are mentally alert we are feeling clear. When we are feeling clear we are able to have an “attitude of gratitude”, to visualise, and to be focused, insightful, inspired, all of which are key to doing things right for us and doing the right thing by others.
For me being physically active is the nurturing. When we are physically active (regardless of our physical capabilities, which differ for us all of course) we are feeling well. When we feel well we are fit and able to be accountable, competent, energetic, productive, and innovative.
For me being universally aware is key to creating a harvest.
When we are universally aware we feel connected. When we feel connected we are able to maximise the high value and mutual reward of one-degree relationships, and active social networks. We are awake, conscious, enlightened and can live the unchanging laws of life (such as the law of the farm) to the full and, in doing so, achieve whatever we dream we can.”
How alive are you?
The more you’re a fully alive human being the more you’ll bring your one-of-a-kind self to your work. And the better you’ll lead for others in a VUCA world.
I define such leadership as the art of inspiring people to bring everything remarkable that they are to everything they do. Self-leadership is all about you. All other leadership is what you do for others.
Leadership falters and usually very badly without management.
The more you’re a fully alive human being the more you’ll let go of old management and the less VUCA there’ll be messing in your world.
I define such management as the practice of making it simple for people to bring everything remarkable that they are to everything they do.
Your leadership is ever-evolving. It’s about continually seeing yourself as remarkable and becoming who you see.
Management is in the grip of revolution. The old is being overthrown. In some remarkable workplaces the battle has already been won. When you embrace this revolution you stop trying to manage people and instead co-create environmments with them where they see themselves as remarkable and become who they see.
There’s one definitive way to win every day in a VUCA world. It’s being a fully alive human being and bringing everything remarkable that you are to everything you do. The stakes are high. Your only competitor is yourself.
PS My leadership momentum programs, online, in person, and both, provide proven pathways you can follow in your own to master your inner game and to be there with others as they master theirs. Find out more here.
I'm conducting online in camera tours of Maverick Thinker Studio to show you what I’ve got for you this Friday 15th May. All you need is your computer, your mobile, or your tablet. We'll be online for 20 minutes plus Q & A and there will be no silly sell at the end. This is either for you or it's not.
Three time slots to choose from:
Go here at 7.30 am sharp AEST this Friday 15th May.
Go here at 12.30 pm sharp AEST this Friday 15th May.
Go here at 4.30 pm sharp AEST this Friday 15th May.
If none of these times suit you please contact me on +61 418 807 898 and we'll arrange a mutually convenient time for me to show you around.