Setting priorities for your team when the future is uncertain

Written by Darin Fox, Released 06 Jul 2020

Managers must confront a great deal of uncertainty: new competitors, disruption, changes in leadership and shifts in strategy. But you can’t let uncertainty slow you down, or distract you from important goals. How do you set priorities in an ambiguous and uncertain time?

In Episode five of the Fastleader podcast, Darin Fox, Chief Research Officer at HFL, asks Senior Executive Sally Armstrong and HFL Principal Consultant Kirsty Allen to explore four questions:

  • Uncertainty increases the risk of the team spending time on unexpected “time-wasters”. How can reduce time-wasters when the criteria for deciding what is important may no longer be known?

  • How can talking about future scenarios help your team be more confident about the future?

  • What can you do to keep your team focused on a new opportunity when it is uncertain as to whether it is going to be supported by the organisation?

  • Are we already in the new normal? Is uncertainty the only certainty?

  • What are the challenges and solutions for leaders in reducing uncertainty and ambiguity for their teams?

  • There will likely always be more demands on a team’s time than what can be undertaken. How do we say no, diplomatically, when asked to do things that aren’t part of our priorities?

Key quotes

  • “The one thing that is important for a leader is to understand each person’s unique value proposition.”

  • “Learn to feel comfortable with uncertainty.”

  • “Leadership is about having the right questions to ask. Not having the right answers.”

  • “It is paramount for leaders today to create the capability in their team to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing environment.

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Show notes

Circle of Influence. Taken from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix.

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Created by Fastlead, AsiaPac’s pioneer of small group leadership coaching. Hosted by Darin Fox, Chief Research Officer.

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Sally Armstrong, Senior executive and management consultant.

Kirsty Allen, Principal consultant and executive coach, HFL.

Darin Fox, Chief Research Officer of HFL and Fastlead.

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