Excelling through the Chaos: A Guide for Leaders (Part 3)
In my first two articles of this three-part series, I introduced you to a practice called Thought Streams, which are designed to help you lead, especially in uncertain times. The purpose of Thought Streams is to frame your lines of thinking for action throughout this disruption, which is more important than ever during heightened times of crisis and change.
The third Thought Stream is about finding stability over the long term. Equipping yourself with this third and final thought stream will provide you with the edge to be truly successful through disruption.
Before we delve further, let’s quickly recap our previous Streams:
The first Thought Stream was focused on one of the most important things a business leader facing chaos can do: make decisions from discernment rather than fear.
The second Thought Stream was focused on finding stability over the short term, with a pivotal strategy to lead with confidence while staying nimble and responsive.
These two Thought Streams can make a huge difference in your ability to respond well, rather than falling victim to emotional, reactionary thinking that can destroy businesses and teams, in times of chaos.
Now let’s bring our attention back to the Third Stream. By “long term,” I am referencing the trends and implications that could affect your organization for the next 6 to 12 to 24 months. Think, changes in the economy, workforce, and society as a whole.
Thought Stream #3: What changes will likely result in long-term impacts on your organization and how you operate?
Keeping eyes and ears focused on the long-term future implications of what is happening could allow you to turn your greatest challenge into your greatest opportunity.
A Lesson of Forward-Thinking in Turbulent Times
Returning to the film industry: in Part 2 of this series, I shared how it adapted—making short-term changes to ensure its survival. The movie industry listened to its audiences and theater owners; it discovered that it could become a foundational part of our community, and ultimately, the popular (or “pop”) culture. Through its product giveaway nights, the trend of “going to the movies” for a sense of normalcy and interaction (even though moviegoers sit quietly and (hopefully) not interacting during the show). It felt the pulse of the nation—when we need to be united (war movies during World War 2), fight scary enemies (monster films during the early Cold War), and challenged (the politically and socially provocative films of the Sixties). Keep your ears open to listen to your team and customers for potential long-term impacts and opportunities for your organization.
You can be a better, stronger leader right now. You read that correctly. Even now — by staying calm and discerning while other organizations give into the chaos, and modeling to your team what a resilient spirit, strategic thinking, and great communication can really do. You may just turn the chaos into something bigger, better, and more valuable than ever before. We are all in this together, but it is up to each of us to make an individual impact by keeping our leadership skills front and center.