...by indifferent people.”
A recurring theme in our writings this year center on critical thinking and the leader’s ability to set direction for their teams in the context of operating in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment. It is a recurring theme because we continue to see and hear about business leaders struggling with change they feel they have limited control over. Using the title quote attributed to Peter Marshall, former chaplain for the U.S. Senate in the late 1940s, we continue to explore effective leadership in a VUCA business environment.
Indifference is defined as a lack of interest or concern in a given situation. It is being apathetic in a situation and is a clear reflection of the leader’s attitude. This is an important distinction as part of the challenge of effectively leading change is thinking it merely involves doing different to get different results. It is a common misconception by not realizing and understanding that doing different must begin with thinking different. A leader’s attitude of indifference and apathy is a core issue in the VUCA challenge!
What does indifference look like? We see two common scenarios in our coaching practice:
So, what is a leader to do under these conditions? We’ve written previously about VUCA 2.0 (Vision, Understanding, Courage, Adaptability) introduced by Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic. From where we stand, the entire process of effectively leading change begins with vision. In our leadership and coaching practice, we spend a good deal of time helping our clients create a vision, revise their existing vision, or merely reconnecting to their existing vision as a means to center themselves on their purpose. It is nearly impossible to be indifferent as a leader when there is clarity and alignment to the core purpose of why the business exists!
We’ve all heard the familiar definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Being proactive in a VUCA business environment begins with the leader checking their own attitude to ensure they are not directly or indirectly modelling an attitude of indifference. Rather, they are consciously and courageously maintaining an attitude of understanding and adaptability centered around their organizational vision!
How are you leading differently to achieve desired results? If you are not sure, we can help!