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Beyond Leadership

119 EpisodesProduced by Mark KalinWebsite

Beyond Leadership is a podcast that connects the business world with academia and provides a platform for entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, students, and everyone willing to learn and share their best practices and life stories about leadership. Going Beyond.Founder and owner: Mark Kalin

4:04

Tip of the Week 24 - 6 Strategies for Leading Through Uncertainty

It seems that any given week provides ample reminders that leaders cannot control the degree of change, uncertainty, and complexity we face. The authors offer six strategies to improve a leader’s ability to learn, grow, and more effectively navigate the increasing complexity of our world. The first step is to embrace the discomfort as an expected and normal part of the learning process. As described by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, leaders must shift from a “know it all” to “learn it all” mindset. This shift in mindset can, itself, help ease the discomfort by taking the pressure off of you to have all the answers.

Uncertainty is unavoidable. As a manager, you need to be prepared to lead your team through murky waters, but doing so requires getting in the right mindset yourself. Here are six tips to help you shift your perspective:

1. Embrace the discomfort of not knowing.Move from a know-it-all to a learn-it-all mindset. You don’t need to have all the answers.

2. Distinguish between "complicated" and "complex" issues. They require different solutions.

3. Let go of perfectionism.Instead, aim for progress, expect mistakes, and recognize that you have the ability to continually course correct as needed.

4. Resist the urge to oversimplify and come to quick conclusions.Take a disciplined approach to understanding both the complexity of the situation and your own biases.

5. Don’t go it alone. Connect with your peers who have their own set of experiences and perspectives to draw from.

6. Zoom out. Taking a broad, systemic view of the issues at hand can reveal unexamined assumptions that would otherwise be invisible.

Adopting the strategies above can improve our ability to continually learn, grow, and more effectively navigate the increasing complexity of our world.

How do you prepare for uncertainty?

What is your solution to leading through uncertainty?


Zucker, R., Rowell, D. (2021, April). 6 Strategies for Leading Through Uncertainty. Harvard Business Review.

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