The Uncertain Leader Has Something To Learn

We all talk about leadership success, inspiration and motivation, but there is more to leadership and life. There are truths that we must address, and there are realities that we cannot escape.

Truth: Leaders face uncertainties.

Fear of uncertainty is always with us. It lies there waiting to challenge us and is waiting to call upon us – and sometimes it is the greatest saboteur of our inner leadership.

We cannot deny it.

When it comes to uncertainty, we need to comprehend that it’s a personal matter.

It is not THE uncertainty of life that gives us anxiety, but OUR fears within ourselves that cause the pain.

It is best to face uncertainty by including it in our thoughts and actions rather than suppressing it.

Recognition of uncertainty is valuable because it helps us to guard against the things that might go wrong.

The reality of the uncertain leader may be that uncertainty may cause you complication in your life.

However, identifying the source of your uncertainty is a critical part of becoming certain.

Uncertainty may cause you fear.

But the fear of the unknown expands your knowing.

Uncertainty may cause you confusion.

But the purpose of uncertainty is to define and focus on your clarity and convictions.

My personal note to the uncertain leader…

Let your uncertainties guide you to help you understand and prepare you for your challenges.

Do not use uncertainty as an excuse to abandon your plans.

Every important risk, every important uncertainty, involves fear.

Don’t run from your fear and uncertainties.

Don’t pretend to be fearless. Don’t pretend to be certain.

If you hold on to your uncertainties rather than expressing them authentically, you will begin to distort self. Simply recognize uncertainties and learn to adapt and adjust to them.

Uncertainty is always trying to make a case for itself in our lives, because it wants us to make a stand for what we believe in. Be the architect for others to model.

Know that fear and uncertainty drag us to the bottom of where we begin to understand the essence of our leadership.

Fear teaches us who we are and it shows us that we are about to step out of our comfort zone.

Every uncertainty is an encounter with something within ourselves that we do not understand or did not take responsibility for. Do not let it lament any part of your life and leadership, because every hardship can teach us valuable lessons.

Every uncertainty is the distance between truth and leadership and the event of greatness.

Lead from within: Uncertainty is about handling our fears. Above all, it’s about helping us to live comfortably with our uncertainties so we can do better, be better and act better.

 


 

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

25 Responses to “The Uncertain Leader Has Something To Learn”

  1. Susan Mazza

    18. Jan, 2012

    This is brilliant Lolly! One of those posts I am likely to read again and again. This particular statement rang so true for me in my experience: “Uncertainty may cause you fear. But the fear of the unknown expands your knowing.”

    Reply to this comment
  2. lollydaskal

    18. Jan, 2012

    Susan,

    So glad to see you stopped by.

    I believe this message is an important message because we ALL suffer from uncertainties and yet the simple truth is fear and the unknown….helps us seek and expand our knowing.

    This thought should comfort ALL of us. I know it does for me and it works for me when I am uncertain.

    Thanks for all that you do.
    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  3. Randy Conley

    18. Jan, 2012

    Great post Lolly! I especially resonate with your statement that it isn’t uncertainty that causes us anxiety, it’s our FEAR of the unknown that causes us angst. I’ve found that people respect a leader more if the leader is emotionally mature enough to admit the fear, address it, and move forward in a positive direction.

    Thanks for the insights.

    Randy

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Jan, 2012

      Randy,

      The statement you write about … it isn’t uncertainty that causes us anxiety, it’s our FEAR of the unknown that causes us angst.

      Reply to this comment
  4. TJ Morrey

    18. Jan, 2012

    Lolly,

    Unbelievable stuff. I start to look at my goals and my choices in life when I read this blog. I can truly say that I’ve felt the fears of change, the uncertainties of the unknown that are ahead of me. I’ve always said if your afraid to fail, your afraid to succeed, but that took my own experiences to realize this. Just want to say I’m a fan of your material and look forward to reading more.

    Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Jan, 2012

      I am so glad you stopped by and I totally agree when you say...”if your afraid to fail, your afraid to succeed.”

      We need to forge forward through our fears into the unknown so something new can be revealed.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Harold

    18. Jan, 2012

    you are brilliant, lolly!

    i would like to connect with you directly

    could you e-mail me contact?

    harold

    Reply to this comment
  6. Dr. Tony Bolden

    19. Jan, 2012

    Hi Lolly – great article.

    One component of authentic leadership (and, frankly a fact of life) is the expectation of “facing the unknown”. Authentic leaders acknowledge their hesitations – and use them as building blocks toward developing collaboration within their circle of influence.

    Conversely, leaders who avoid facing their fears become insecure – and insecure leaders are a threat to themselves and their followers; specifically because they do not provide security for others, they take more than they give, they continually limit their best people – and thus, they limit their organizations.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Emelia

    19. Jan, 2012

    I sooooo needed to hear this today. I just took a big leap in the direction of my future and uncertainty is at the heart of it. However, there is a calm that prevails over it. Forums such as #leadfromwithin have given me the courage to embrace the uncertainty, and for that I am ever grateful to you.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      20. Jan, 2012

      Emelia,

      You are courageous. You are beautiful. We at #leadfromwithin want to support you in anyway we can!

      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  8. Alex

    19. Jan, 2012

    What do you see as the best way to communicate concerns without seeming weak as a leader? Do you believe there are some legitimate concerns that ought not be communicated? If so what type.

    I really enjoyed your article – not running from the trust is so important.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      20. Jan, 2012

      Alex,

      Being vulnerable. Being honest and keeping the lines of communication honest and open is a great way for a leader to stay connected.
      Uncertainty is not weakness. Faking it is.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Melanie Greenberg

    20. Jan, 2012

    Lolly,
    This is a post that comes from a lot of self-examination and self-reflection. You speak with a therapeutic voice. I believe the way to handle uncertainty is to have a faith in our own and our organization’s fundamental ability to adapt to and cope with whatever unfolds. There is often not just one right way to do things. Our voice of uncertainty is trying to protect us from getting hurt. We can thank it for it’s concern and let it know we have things under control 🙂 Love your work and strong, grounded voice. Melanie G

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Jan, 2012

      Dear Melanie,

      You are so right when you comment….Our voice of uncertainty is trying to protect us from getting hurt
      That is what uncertainty is trying to do…Its our inner protector telling us – urging us- guiding us – to stop and listen….
      You are amazing and thanks for stopping by.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  10. Vanessa

    20. Jan, 2012

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have so much change going on right now in nearly every area of my life. Just last night I wrote a mail to my friend saying that I was confused and worried that everything I am deciding, saying and doing is wrong in terms of new directions I am taking.
    Reading posts like this are such a relief!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Jan, 2012

      Vanessa,

      Life is journey of ups and downs. Confusion and complexities. Let this blog, this community be a source of comfort. Join us on #leadfromwithin tweetchat on Tuesday evenings. you will find not only a community of heart based leaders who will support you but a family who cares.

      You are not alone.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  11. Diane Thompson

    20. Jan, 2012

    Lolly, this is a great post! Leaders can experience moments of great uncertainty. It can be very lonely at the top and the ability to trust one’s own judgement is essential. With experience, we learn many lessons and we should not discount the wisdom that resides within.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Jan, 2012

      Dear Diane,

      Thank you for your very thoughtful and insightful comment. It is true what you say, It can be very lonely at the top and the ability to trust one’s own judgement is essential. With experience, we learn many lessons and we should not discount the wisdom that resides within.

      As we say here Lead From Within – trust the wisdom and the intuition and the insights you have and believe in your gift.

      Thank you!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
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    17. Mar, 2013

    You made some first rate points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and located most people will associate with with your website.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Sharon Reed

    25. Jan, 2014

    Another insightful post, Lolly, and one that has been top of mind. I share in your belief that one of the gifts of uncertainty is the opportunity to refine and define what is most important to us — enabling us to take a stand for what we believe in. This has certainly been true in my own journey. Uncertainty also provides us a choice — to act from a place of fear or love — to cling to our illusions of safety or empower and propel ourselves forward by drawing strength from ourselves, our faith and our vision for the future. Thanks, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
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    13. Apr, 2015

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you
    can be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back from now on. I
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  15. Jude Amadi

    21. Aug, 2016

    Great and excellent work. Lolly this is wonderful, ” let your uncertainties guide you to help you understand and prepare you for your challenges.” Thank you, very thoughtful .

    Reply to this comment
  16. Ken Catmull

    16. Dec, 2017

    Interesting post, Lolly. The word I would use to discuss uncertainty in a Leader is opportunity.

    Good stuff as always…

    Ken

    Reply to this comment

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  1. On Destiny and Birthright | Unfolding Leadership January 18, 2012

    […] that seem to be everywhere, and which seem to be increasing. But as Lolly Daskal points out in a a recent post: “Uncertainty may cause you fear. But the fear of the unknown expands your […]

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