Learn to Love Uncertainty
Managing the unexpected is the real job of today’s leaders
Stock market investors and most organizational leaders genuinely dislike uncertainty. I understand why it plays havoc with investor psychology. Yet managing the unexpected is the real job of today’s leaders.
Much of the theory of management implies we can plan, organize, lead and control our way to reducing uncertainty. For some tasks, that is indeed possible. For most of the big ones, however, including predicting the outcome of our strategies or even forecasting our revenues over long planning horizons in changing markets, we are flailing our way through uncertainty making foolish, overly optimistic predictions and then hoping the outcomes match the forecasts.
Markets, customers and competitors do not bend to fit our happy scripts—regardless of how many assumptions we make or how beautiful our slide decks are.
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