July 7, 2009


I've heard Andy Stanley say that "uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape." He goes on to encourage leaders that uncertainty doesn't indicate poor leadership; it actually underscores the need for leadership. Uncertainty will be our constant companion on the leadership journey, but there are definitely times when the uncertainty weighs more heavily on us than usual. What then? What do we do when we're in a period of transition? What do we do when conflicting views arise about the next move? What do we do when we're not sure what to do?

According to Andy Stanley, the best thing to do is to return to the God-given vision for your ministry or organization. I wholeheartedly agree with this. There's only one problem, at least for me. Returning to the vision that God has given us doesn't necessarily give us the next step along the way. If you're like me, when uncertainty arises, you want the solution, & you want it NOW! The thing that is wrong with that approach is that our real motivation is eliminating uncertainty. Instead we should be seeking clarity in the midst of uncertainty, & returning to the vision that God has given us will always give us clarity. It may not always give us the next step in the process of navigating uncertainty, but it gives us the priceless grid through which we can run our decisions as we move forward through the uncertainty.

So if you are caught in the middle of what seems like extreme uncertainty whether personally or organizationally, return to the mission that you've been called to. Go back to the problem you've been burdened to solve. The vision you've been given will provide a filter for your decisions going forward. It will give you clarity to lead in the midst of uncertainty.

For more on this topic, pick up Andy Stanley's "Next Generation Leader" or listen to this month's Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast.

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