Learn to Thrive in Ambiguity; a Career Skill and an Essential Life Skill

In today’s workplace the ability to manage ambiguity and operate effectively in a forever changing environment is critical. As a Head Hunter, this theme is discussed as a critical competency requirement in virtually every mandate that we take on.

Companies do not create change without good reason but so often the pursuit of the right strategy requires change, to the extent that it can feel like change is permanent.

There are many positives in the dimension of change for human and team performance. We only begin to reach our potential when we put ourselves in a position when we can really be tested. Change can do this, especially when we can set our minds to embrace the challenge and learn to thrive on it. Excess predictability will breed staleness and an overall lowering of pace. When that decline sets in, in any group or team, it can be hard to change. If it is recognised too late, it is game over.

As John F Kennedy said: “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”

Building a business requires a pace and momentum alongside a need to stretch yourself and the people around you. In my opinion this is one of the central components of leadership.

The balance between pressure and creating an environment that can thrive in these dynamics is a fascinating one. My experience is that when good people are being pushed too far they will let you know. If nobody ever tells you that they are under pressure then arguably you should be worried. You are not pushing hard enough.

What is certain is that these are skills that we need to develop in today’s working environments. The sooner you develop them the better. The huge upside is that these skills contribute to our lives. A mindset that is based around challenging ourselves, learning about our boundaries and being able to thrive under pressure can only improve our ability to contribute and express ourselves.

The more that we can embrace this and incorporate this in to who we are, the more engaged we become. Through this, we can shift away from the dialogue of work-life balance and begin to see that work contributes and is a part of who we are.

This Spirit of Adventure

This Spirit of AdventureWe learn more and more about psychology and neuroscience year on year which enriches out understanding about ourselves, how we can successfully interact with each other, our behaviours and so much more. However, some concepts about attitude, behaviour and character can stand the test of time. To that end, I wanted to share a letter which was written by my Great Grand Father to my Grand Father in 1923. The simplicity and power of the message is brilliant.

This Spirit of the Future 

I look upon each minute as precious and to be exchanged only for it’s full equivalent in progress.

To develop, continually, every faculty which helps to build greater judgement, energy, determination, imagination with a good cheer, for each is necessary to the happy individual. To look upon work during the working hours of the day as a privilege, as a game, as a requisite of the full & complete life.

To look upon idleness with disrespect, as a waste of time, the only commodity of which everyone has an equal amount.

To feel that the waking hours after the day’s work is over are best spent in study, in agreeable companionship, in recreation, in those acts which build happier, stronger character & better health.

To strive for higher standards and ideals. To look upon the bright side of things and be an optimist in the best meaning of the word. To act quickly and avoid procrastination. To think broad mindedly and to scorn meanness and jealousy.

To punish dishonesty with the utmost effort. To appreciate fully intelligence, originality, loyalty, recognising merit only as the door to advancement.

To acknowledge no obstacles as unsurmountable which stand in the way of splendid progress.

Ever your affectionate, Dad

1923