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How to Effectively Manage in Times of Uncertainty

Leadership is about creating confidence in times of great uncertainty

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, my company, Delphi Group, conducted a broad survey of nearly 3,000 professionals that was intended to identify the impact of uncertainty and ways that businesses could mitigate its negative effects on workers. While the survey results aren't available online, as it was conducted over 20 years ago, I remember that one of the questions asked respondents to pick a single factor that most alleviated the negative effects of uncertainty.

The overwhelming majority chose trusted leadership over a variety of other choices, including access to information, capital, media/news, assurances of personal safety from the government, and even the ability to foresee future events.

This result is timeless. Uncertainty, in any form, takes an enormous toll on us; it robs us of control and confidence. People like predictability, and we weave it into the very fiber of our society and systems. The whole reason for contract law is to architect certainty into the socioeconomic fabric. We love sports because the rules are definitive and immutable. In the absence of certainty, we struggle to focus, we feel that we have no control, and we lose trust in people and systems that we otherwise do not question. In its worst case, uncertainty leads to creating a crisis narrative of existential proportions. Let's face it, humans are drawn to the drama of potentially apocalyptic scenarios.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Inc.

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