Debunking “normal”

Signposts pointing in all directions reading LOST, CONFUSED, UNSURE, UNCLEAR, PERPLEXED, DISORIENTED, BEWILDEREDNormal, according to Merriam-Webster, means “conforming to a type, standard, or regular patterncharacterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.”

Predictable. Stable. A sense of certainty, of knowing what’s likely to happen.

None of that ever truly existed, of course, but at least we could pretend, act “as if.” We could set strategy, make five-year plans, look to future goals and believe we had a good chance of getting there.

That’s just not the case any more. And leaders who struggle with that fact are leaders who are going to struggle to lead. There is no going “back to normal,” and there is no “new normal” – unless the latter is the norm of change and uncertainty.

And uncertainty isn’t fun. Most of us want to know where we’re going, to know that when we create goals that feel right to us, we can actually rely on our plan for getting there.

Not so much any more.

But – and here’s the important point – this does not mean we should just throw our hands in the air in our frustration.

For a company to be successful in today’s non-normal, it must be flexible and able to adapt, which means decisions and planning can’t reside only at the top. And that means you need to trust your mid-level and first-line managers to be leaders, in every sense of the word.

Leaders still need to lead (of course); it’s just that leaders at all levels, not only at the top, need to be informed, and their strategic-planning and decision-making skills need to be fostered and developed.

And in all seriousness, this is a tremendous opportunity for your organization to thrive.

Leaders need support to develop the skills and capacity for these “no normal in sight” times. Curious about how I can help? Let’s talk.