Commentary by management consultant Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Leadership, Innovation, and Chaos
HENRY: Surely chaotic conditions are the best place for mistakes. What do you see as the single biggest mistake to be made, either as an organization or as an individual?
BOB: When you don’t know what to do, sometimes the best thing to do, at least initially, is nothing . . . as I say: ”Stop and smoke a cigarette.” We tend to forget that and look for “something” to do, anything at all, to respond, when in fact the best response to chaos – at least initially — is often watch and think. You can be overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and anger, but as a leader you need to step back and understand the situation and try to find the patterns in the chaos; remember, it is only chaos because we haven’t yet seen or found the patterns.