4 Ways Leaders Instill Vitality and Defeat Uncertainty
Uncertainty is as certain as a sunrise. Vitality is uncommon.
Vitality is energy to thrive in difficulty.
4 Ways leaders instill vitality:
#1. Use uncertainty.
You give power to things you resist. Ignoring uncertainty drains vitality. Every time you knock down uncertainty it gets angry. Whoever said, “What you resist persists,” was right.
Give uncertainty a seat at the table. Use it for good. Practice humility. Arrogance tries to control. Humility is open and curious. Curiosity is vibrant.
#2. Call out lies.
Emotions make fantasies seem real. Notice the feelings you experience at an action-adventure movie or reading a Stephen King story.
Emotions make lies seem true. When you catastrophize about the future you feel anxious, stressed, and helpless. True feelings authenticate lies.
Uncertainty makes life harder. Life is hard sometimes.
Face lies with reality. You are making it right now even if it feels hard. The only power to change the future is acting now.
#3. Reject optimism.
Admiral Stockdale observed that optimistic POW’s struggled the most. They told themselves they would be rescued by Christmas, but they weren’t. They told themselves they would be home by Easter, but they were still being tortured after Easter.
People who survive acknowledge difficulties and believe they will eventually prevail. You will prevail. Tell your team they will prevail. When you’re certain you can’t prevail, quit.
#4. Care for people.
Uncertainty drains everyone. Fill your tank before it goes dry. Find ways to rest. Long hours are necessary sometimes. Long hours as a lifestyle destroy you.
Take someone for a short walk when you notice frustration, for example. Walk slowly. Listen. Focus on what they can do next. It’s overwhelming to focus on everything.
Redefine success. Regardless of results, success during uncertainty is getting up again and fighting the battle with vitality.
How can leaders instill vitality during times of uncertainty?
How to Honor the Law of Vitality
Seven Ways to Cope with Uncertainty
A leader once asked, “What is Truth?” The context of the question is similar to asking water “what is Wet?” The truth is we will experience uncertainty (#1). To deny it is a lie (#2). To ignore it is to believe you can fool others and yourself – which is an uncaring act (#4).
My question is the apparent contradiction in the POW’s who struggled the most (#3). They believed they would eventually prevail. How do you recommend business leaders confront this dichotomy?
It seems to me this is where most business leaders have the greatest challenge: recognizing when the artificial deadline is preventing future progress – and getting in the way of greater success. With pressing deadlines and bottom lines to meet, the pressure of short-term success often wages war with the growth of the organization and its long-term success. Fortunes are gained and lost in this battle, and it takes incredible insight and courage to fight it. My observation is that as leaders we must embrace change. Trust your people. Build into them. Play the long game. This is the key to eventually prevailing.
Hi RP. Great question. As I look at the heading, It would be clearer if it said, reject unrealistic optimism. The realistic optimists didn’t know when their ordeal would end. The unrealistic optimists experienced one disappointment after another until it broke them. Stockdale’s’ paradox is first brought up in Good to Great, by Jim Collins. But it’s pretty easy to find info about it online. My short paragraphs didn’t do it justice.
Positive thinking is powerful, but you can’t tell yourself something you know is a lie and expect it to be helpful. You might tell yourself you are Wonder Woman or Superman, but it’s not helpful because you know it’s not true.
I’m so glad you jumped in today. Cheers
It all plays into the total realm of what we control or can’t control. Positive Thinkers can instill the roots only if the listeners are all in.
Lies destroy everyone and everything as soon as others figure out they were bamboozled and soon the ship sinks.
I relate to the slow walks with those who and share viewpoints we often don’t see or understand. They take us under their wings and instill the values that help them to were they are and perhaps were we need to go.
After all everyone has their Krptonite relating to Superman and the Superheroes, sure would be nice to all have the powers of Superheroes when needed.