Brian Cavanagh CONSULTING

Leadership lessons – in praise of uncertainty

Is certainty an overrated leadership attribute? For me, yes.
And by certainty, I mean that which dismisses alternative views, and advice as a sign of weakness. Uncertainty becomes a synonym for indecisiveness.

This emphasis on certainty can often result in a false view implying that it only requires ‘will’ to be decisive and to solve problems.
And if we have learned nothing else from the covid pandemic, it must be the ‘will and belief’ is not enough.

As we emerge from the pandemic, our organisations and communities face issues that do not lend themselves to easy, and simple solutions. To deal with these issues, requires openness, and that dealing with complex problems, let us recognise that decision making can be messy.
And that sometimes being uncertain, in that you are not immediately reaching for THE solution, allows for exploration of nuances, to test assumptions, and creates the framework in which allows for deeper exploration, and potentially a better quality decision. Being open to different possibilities, acknowledging you do not all the answers, and seeking advice, are leadership strengths, not weaknesses.
So, let us stop seeing certainty as a leadership virility test, and instead embrace the benefits of uncertainty.