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The unexpected snowman

Going for a walk this weekend, I came around a corner and was eye-to-eye with this snowman. Yes, he is mounted on a tree in the woods!

The unexpected is often surprising and unsettling. When organizations encounter the unexpected it can create significant disruption as individuals and teams work to come to terms with what has happened.

When organizations encounter the unexpected, the best leaders remain calm and level-headed. Leaders remind people of the focus of the organization. They don’t hide the facts, even when the news is bad. They observe and read the situation and people around them. They encourage people to experience their emotions, but then ask them to turn their attention outward.

Leaders shift the focus outward by engaging those around them in learning. They ask questions:

  • What can we learned from this situation?
  • What decisions need to be made?
  • What risks are we willing to take?
  • What do we not want to compromise?
  • What are the most creative solutions you can brainstorm?

Being a leader is not about having a title or a position high on the organization chart. Being a leader means the ability to act with an authenticity that draws people together and motivates them to reach common goals. Being a leader is about embracing the uncertainty around every corner calmly and steadily .

“The unexpected always happens – the unexpected is indeed the only thing one can confidently expect. And almost never is it a pleasant surprise.” – Peter Drucker

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