3 Shifts that Bring Stability to Chaos

Environments created by out-of-touch leaders are filled with frustration, distrust, and defeat.

Disconnected decision-makers create distress.

Deeper concerns:

New systems and processes help, but the deeper concern of organizational distress is leadership.

  1. What do current patterns say about your leadership?
  2. What do nagging issues call you to change about yourself?

Chaos is a leadership problem.

New bandages:

New bandages over infected wounds won’t heal nagging issues.

Solutions are rooted in hearts, heads, and hands.

Successful change begins with people.

The big shift:

Disorganization, mismanagement, and organizational chaos are people problems before they are organizational issues. Yes, structure and systems matter. But solutions begin with shifts in attitude, thinking, and action.

Nothing changes until leaders change.

Frances Hesselbein wrote, “Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.” Warren Bennis wrote, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.”

Leadership is about who you are, before it’s about what you do.

Shifts that stabilize organizations:

#1. Self-protection to vulnerability.

Pretending to be something you aren’t invites disrespect, not loyalty.

  1. When you aren’t sure, get curious.
  2. Explore the challenges others face.
  3. Seek input. Explore feedback.
  4. Run pilot programs. Don’t expect perfection on first attempts at change.
  5. Be humble enough to try simple solutions.

#2. Pointing fingers to going first.

Worry about changing yourself before thinking about changing others.

  1. Practice every new behavior or attitude that you expect from others for three months before expecting it from others.
  2. Share your experiences with your team.
  3. Learn, adapt, and support each other as you grow. (See #1 above.)

#3. Secrecy to openness.

Stressed organizations have too many secrets.

Disconnected leaders:

  1. Huddle in secrecy.
  2. Exclude people from decision-making processes.
  3. Reject input and feedback.
  4. Expect others to change while they stay the same.
  5. Pass down inadequate decisions.

What leadership attitudes, thinking, or behaviors propagate instability in organizational life?

What shifts in attitude, thinking, or behavior move organizations toward greater stability?