Calming Chaos


The world we live in is chaotic. A great leader learns how to leverage chaos into creativity, to bring a sense of tranquility to a crazy world.

Dealing with new technology, profit expectations, continual new-product development, the fickle customer, and global competitors requires perpetual change and lightening-fast reactions. Markets change, old competitors consolidate, new competitors emerge, and attempts at reorganization threaten our daily bread. Both leaders and employees can feel under seige and at the mercy of chaos.

A creative, energy-filled calm is what we need.

Imagine you are a surfer. There you are with your board waiting for “the big wave.” If you are in Hawaii, the waves you are playing in might be 20 feet. All around you is surging, frothy chaos. Currents, tides, and the weather have combined to create a uniquely unstable environment. Conditions are always changing; every moment the ocean is different. If you try to catch a wave exactly the same way you did yesterday, you will take a hard fall. You must stay alert and react quickly to every nuance of water, tide, and wind.

Gutsy leaders confront chaos. No one who is content to just paddle a surfboard beyond where the waves break has ever caught a “big one.” Neither has such a person every wiped out. If you want to ride a wave, you have to enter into the chaos. If you panic while riding a big wave you are sure to wipe out. If you stay calm, you can have a wonderful ride while tons of water crash down around you.

How do you manage chaos? How do you bring calm to your team?


2 Responses to “Calming Chaos”

  1. Jennifer Cook says:

    Assigning specific projects with clear and concise outcomes gives a team the ability to see through the “chaos”, while providing opportunities for them to use their own creative means and manage their own individual skill set within the team framework. An important measure of success in managing chaos is what is learned and discovered as a team completes a project, and overall growth in both skill set and problem solving.

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