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Clearing the Path

It’s official. January 2011 was the snowiest month in Connecticut since recorded history. The snow is so deep in our backyard that we had to clear a path for our dog Bartok so he could burn off some of his boundless energy without being disoriented sinking into over 22 inches of hard, crusty snow. With the path cleared, he can see where he’s supposed to go, and he runs around confidently and happily.

As leaders, we too find it easy to move forward confidently when our paths are cleared and we know where we’re supposed to go. Yet quite often we find ourselves in uncharted territory, with no clear path, or at least no path that we’ve ever taken. A new job, promotion, merger, or market disruption can leave us disoriented and unsure of what to do. Lacking an established clear path, we may hesitate and get stuck, or simply plow ahead and flounder in the unknown.

At times such as these, successful leaders leverage strategies that support them in moving forward confidently. In fact, they are the ones who not only clear the path for themselves, but for others, too. They develop a tolerance for ambiguity, the ability to stay calm, clear headed, and focused on specific goals. A strategy that works for some leaders is to develop and cultivate a centered presence based on trust in themselves and deep commitment to the purpose of their work and to others. Through this they are able to ground themselves, stand tall, and navigate their way through the uncertainty. Through their centered presence, they also are able to get others to join them.

What strategies have worked for you in clearing the path of uncertainty? Share your thoughts with others by posting a comment or question.

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