Summer is NOT a Time for Games
Summer is an unusual time of the year. For some it is busier than usual; for others it is more laid back and quiet than other times of the year. The unique circumstances of summer are often an excuse for not continuing to move forward on objectives that are really important for our career, our team, our company. There is always a “summer” excuse for not getting important things done. That excuse might sound like, “after we get this position filled” or “after the reorganization” or “after this campaign”, “after this round of budget cuts”. After we get through this time will come another time–and another reason to not do what we know needs to be done. Kicking the can down the road is a common summer game.
I recently heard the acronym VUCA to describe the new business environment. VUCA stands for:
V-Volatility—unexpected or unstable conditions
U-Uncertainty—future change is possible but not a given
C-Complexity—many interconnected parts
A-Ambiguity—cause and effect not clear; no precedent to guide choices
Just writing this section makes me stop in my tracks. VUCA is not intended to overwhelm or drive doubt into decisions. I bring this topic up from the business literature to remind us that what you feel (what I feel too) is not unique. It turns out that everyone feels this way sometimes—actually most of the time–and it’s the company or person who can see their way through these conditions that will get ahead, and continue to get better working in these conditions.
“Summer” or the “current change” or whatever the current volatility, uncertainty, complexity or ambiguity of the situation cannot be a reason to stop doing what, in some moment of clarity and certainty, we felt was the right thing, the important thing to do. There are moments of lucidity in the chaos, and we need to recognize those moments and to treasure them. Those moments of clarity and stability are important to capture and hold onto as we move forward into the storm.
During these brief moments we are able to see what is the best plan of action given what we know in that moment. And during the less certain times, we must trust ourselves that what we saw to be the right path forward is still the right path forward. The balance during our doubtful moments should be toward working the plan rather than re-planning the work. There is no better time than during the our VUCA moments to just do the work that we know needs to be done.
Leaders use vision to help their team create strategy and to set priorities. Don’t keep your vision hidden from them. Clear away the confusion and put it out there for others to use.