What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

By in Blog, Character, Leadership Development, Personal Development, Trust

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-10-01-amSome people are fine skating through uncertainty by the seat of their pants, but most of us in leadership prefer to feel in control.

We like having all the answers (or most of them, anyway), and seeing a clear path ahead. And in time, people come to expect those things of us, and we come to expect them of ourselves.

So for a leader to admit they don’t know is a big deal.

For some it feels like an uncomfortable vulnerability; for others, worry. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some things you can do when you just don’t know:

Trust your intuition. Whether you call it intuition, your sixth sense or following our gut, sometimes when intellect fails you it’s time to rely on your subconscious. It’s a realm where you don’t need to explain or justify your actions or feelings. Just trust your inner guidance to know what’s best.

Make a bold move. In uncertain times we all feel tentative, but if you don’t take bold moves your leadership can’t move forward. Boldness inspires creativity, innovation, vision—exactly the things you need at such times. Let go of fear and remember that most people aren’t hoping to catch you in trouble but want to see you succeed. Whatever you send out always comes back to you, so let your actions set the direction of your leadership.

Let worry go. Worry won’t stop the bad stuff from happening; it just stops you from enjoying the good. The best thing you can do is let worry go and allow yourself to learn in the moment from the experience. Do the best you can do with what you have—beyond that, it’s outside your control.

Hire a coach. A great coach can ask the questions that can lead you to genuinely helpful answers, tell you the things you don’t want to hear and help you transcend your own point of view. The best coaches lead you past what you don’t know into possibility, and help you become the leader you’ve always known you can be.

Remember, feeling worried accomplishes nothing it only prevents you from moving forward, and stagnation is not an option for a leader.

Whatever the situation, do everything you can to keep yourself moving forward, either alone or with the help of a trusted advisor.

Make use of the wisdom you have within, and solicit as much knowledge as you can from those you trust.

Lead from within:  What you don’t know today will be something you can learn from tomorrow.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

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13 Responses to “What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do”

  1. Jo Miller

    29. Nov, 2016

    Lolly, Thank you for another timely post. I needed to hear this today. Jo

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sam

    29. Nov, 2016

    Lolly, uncertainty can be a very scary thing when it comes to making business decisions. I think it’s about finding that perfect balance between trusting your gut and analyzing each possible outcome.

    Reply to this comment
  3. mercy

    29. Nov, 2016

    Thank you Lolly, this was a great piece.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Vishal Garg

    01. Dec, 2016

    Nice post

    Reply to this comment
  5. Brook

    03. Dec, 2016

    I really enjoyed reading this article. The part that says “make a bold move” resonates the most with my heart. It really makes sense. From my own experience, the tendency of having all the answers in fact trips us.
    Thank you for sharing this awesome article.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Jim Vangerud

    03. Dec, 2016

    This article carries much wisdom. Make a bold move really speaks to me at this moment. This article has helped me see greater clarity in charting the path forward.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Stephen Rodgers

    03. Dec, 2016

    This is amazing and so timely to me Lolly. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Nagarjuna Reddy

    03. Dec, 2016

    Making a bold move & Seeking Help…hiring a Coach.
    Learning for me.
    Thank you so much.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Sanaul Haque

    04. Dec, 2016

    Enjoy Music

    Reply to this comment
  10. Rosa

    04. Dec, 2016

    Dear Lolly, this post could not be any more timely for me. I have been going through a period of “I don’t Know”-ness in my profession as teacher and leader. I, like most of us, come from a culture of working hard to know it all and control things to the point that my muscles will tense to the point of pain. Admitting that I did not know was shameful and unheard of. Things have been different; I have started to wonder if all that I thought I knew is nothing; perhaps, I do not know much at all. Strangely, I do not feel worried or stressed. I feel at peace. It is as if the world had stopped.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Rosa

    04. Dec, 2016

    Dear Lolly, this post could not be any more timely for me. I have been going through a period of “I don’t Know”-ness in my profession as teacher and leader. I, like most of us, come from a culture of working hard to know it all and control things to the point that my muscles will tense to the point of pain. Admitting that I did not know was shameful and unheard of. Things have been different; I have started to wonder if all that I thought I knew is nothing; perhaps, I do not know much at all. Strangely, I do not feel worried or stressed. I feel at peace. It is as if the world had stopped. Thanks for this post.

    Reply to this comment

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