Jim Collin’s newest book, Great By Choice, presents several reasons why a few companies have thrived through uncertainty. Fortune Magazine’s October edition highlights the research and the concept of the book. But what really caught my eye was the little nugget about managers and leaders who are in these “Great by Choice” companies: They are self-controlled leaders in an out-of-control world. In other words, they are Anywhere Leaders.
All too often, today’s managers and leaders are mimicking their behavior with the chaos – chaotic conditions, chaotic leadership. Disruption in the business brings about intense reactions. But we need the exact opposite – poised and calculated managers and leaders in the midst of chaos. These poised leaders, though agile, exude stability.
Next time you find yourself in the midst of chaos, don’t allow your behavior to mimic the chaos. Don’t match it. To do so, consider these things:
- Don’t feel the need to react immediately. If someone tosses a live grenade at your feet, you have to assess quickly. In most cases, you have a bit more time than you think. Even healthcare workers don’t react immediately; in the most critical situations, they assess first.
- Listen to the reactions of others. This is part of the assessment process. Being a great listener in the midst of chaos sets you up better than the person who races narrow-mindedly toward a quick answer.
- Carefully monitor the tone of your voice. When it’s time to speak, make sure you are calm. Otherwise, you simply become part of the storm.