Leading In An Avalanche

by Mike Myatt

The point I want you to take away from the video above and the text that follows is an avalanche need not always end in disaster. Pushing the envelope is something all leaders must get comfortable with. It’s when leaders push themselves and those they lead past comfort zones that great things happen. Sometimes leaders need to cause an avalanche, and sometimes they’ll need to react to one caused by circumstances beyond their control. Whether the avalanche occurs by design or default, real leaders don’t panic – they lead.

This may sound a bit counterintuitive, even a bit strange, but I like messy leaders. By messy leaders, I mean leaders who are not afraid to shake things up. Good leaders don’t fear ambiguity, aren’t afraid to travel into uncharted territory, and they certainly don’t fear breaking things. The best leaders are more than willing to embrace chaos, and even create it if doing so leads to more fertile ground.

There’s no doubt uncertainty will flummox the timid or the unprepared. However real leaders understand uncertainty creates opportunity for deeper understanding and significant growth. If you lead long enough, crisis will eventually find its way to your doorstep. If you want to assess the quality of a leader, watch them very closely when things don’t go according to plan. I’ve always said the real test of a leader is what happens in the moments following the realization they’ve triggered an avalanche…


image credit: avalanche image from bigstock

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Mike MyattMike Myatt, is a Top CEO Coach, author of “Leadership Matters…The CEO Survival Manual“, and Managing Director of N2Growth.

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  1. I love the avalanche image, Mike, what a great visual! And I agree that great leaders don’t panic when crisis strikes and are not afraid of change or to break things. The challenge I see is when leaders don’t communicate well and don’t reach out to help their team navigate change and uncertainty. Sometimes leaders get so comfortable with change and with trying new things that they forget how stressful that change can be for others in the organization. Great post!

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