Leading in Chaos

Maintaining equilibrium in a state of constant chaos is sometimes challenging. Even for the most level-headed of managers, maintaining decorum and a sense of pride during turbulent times can put a manager’s skills to the test. So then, how do we as leaders display a sense of commitment and balance inside the chaos?

Try these four tips:

1. Center: Find a way to center yourself even at work. One of my first mentors was an amazing CEO. During highly stressful times he taught me to take a walk. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Feel the sun on your skin. Allow yourself to get quiet. With each step I realized the chatter in my head. Through this technique I was able to quiet the chatter and get back to what was really important. So, if you see me walking in the parking lot, don’t worry. I am just finding my center.

2. Mindfulness: We have all heard this word thrown about in recent years about being mindful. But, its not just about being mindful, it’s also leveraging discernment and knowing what you will take personally and what you won’t. For example, someone at work says that piece of work is horrible. Do you take this personal? Well, you can. But really, if you are clear about who you are in the world, a better answer is NO. Simply, ask questions to discover what it is the client or your boss really wanted. Oftentimes, situations like this are either a lack of listening or missed expectations. Either one can be fixed, so why take it on. Using mindfulness and discernment are essential to maintaining balance.

3. Believe: Believe in possibility. If you really want to maintain balance through chaos, know that each situation or event is an opportunity to either grow or discover things you have yet to know. Either way, there can be good even in tough conversations. Know that if you focus on what’s possible, then the good will follow.

4. Candor: Be honest with people. If you screw it up, admit it. If your team has issues, state it. Don’t sugarcoat things. This does not help people. This doesn’t mean you become a raging lunatic telling everyone how bad they are. Rather, you have frank conversations with the intent to support people in achieving their greater good. Realize that people want to do the right thing, but sometimes people need a little support. Help them to grow or go, whichever they choose will be the right choice. Be there for the team and be honest.

These four tips allow leaders to maintain their identity amidst the chaos. Knowing our value as leaders is very important but never, take your position for granted. If we, as leaders, start each day with gratitude and know we give it our all, our teams will follow in step. Also, the perceived chaos won’t seem nearly as chaotic.


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