The Number One Task Of A Leader Is To Provide Clarity
We all know that some times leaders don't have all of the answers. Each of us have been in situations where you basically feel like you are making it up as you go. You might be in one of those situations now, especially with how crazy and constantly changing this year is.
With the health in our country the way it is we are probably dealing with a lot more work absences this year. Maybe you are a manager or a small business owner and you have an employee who you don't know when, or even if they are going to return. You have customers and co-workers that are relying on that person. You can't be certain of how things are going to transpire, but you have to make an effort to provide some clarity. If you don't that is when the rumors get started and frustrations come out as people talk and try to make sense of it. When people have no information from leaders it creates a vacuum which is quickly filled with whatever people can conjure up.
I think one of the main qualities of a successful leader is their humility. When things are clear a leader has to step out, humbly but with confidence and say "We don't have all the answers." Tell them what you know, what you are going to do next and when you will follow up again with the next update. If people just did those things we could solve a lot of our problems.
Nobody said sharing that information is easy, but it is still far easier than saying nothing. All that does is create double the effort to not only solve your problem, but you now need to deal with the chaos that will inevitably come when there is no clarity.
Credit goes out to this Tweet by Andy Stanley that got me thinking.
As leaders, we cannot provide certainty, but we must provide clarity.— Andy Stanley (@AndyStanley) August 10, 2020