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How to Handle Uncertainty About the Future

How to Handle Uncertainty About the Future

How to Handle Uncertainty About the Future

When we don't know what to expect, we tend to stand still.

Uncertainty slows progress.

We need to know how to progress even in uncertain times.

What can we control?

We need to establish what we can and what we cannot control.

We cannot control the marketplace

The marketplace in which you operate is enormous and multi-faceted, and you cannot control everything that happens, which inevitably introduces a degree of uncertainty.

We cannot control the actions of politicians

Over the last 18 months politicians have imposed their will over the marketplace. We cannot predict any future legally mandated interventions. Political interventions in your marketplace introduce more uncertainty.

Certainty is a positive motivator

Certainty positively effects human minds. When we know what to expect, and we know what we want to achieve, then we make more rapid progress.

Certainty powers progress.

What can we be certain of?

We can only be certain of a few things:

General trends

Although we do not know any of the details, we can see that the world is moving according to general trends.

For example, there are trends towards greater use of information technology and to more automation. There are trends towards all things "green" and "sustainable". There are trends towards higher taxes and greater government spending.

Our goals and plans should align with general trends.

Whether you like the trends or not, we must ensure our goals and plans are taking them into account. We must adapt ourselves to the current trends, even if we don't like them.

You are free to fight the trends if you feel the need to, but your first task is "to survive", and only when you have secured your survival, should you then turn your mind to "making progress towards your ultimate goal".

What else can we be certain of?

  • We must "add value to the marketplace".
  • All businesses exist in order to "add value".
  • Businesses that don't "add value to the marketplace", fail.

To add value, we must set SMART goals.

We must set, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals.

We can be certain that, to add value and succeed, we must act according to:

  1. Our SMART goals.
  2. A set of detailed written plans, which we review and evolve every day.
  3. Current trends.
  4. The latest interventions from politicians and their advisers.
  5. Marketplace conditions.
  6. The feedback results generated by our most recent actions.

Last word from US President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower wrote to a military officer who claimed he needed to be given more resources before he could move,

"Do what you can, with what you've got, from where you are".

We can be certain of that.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Motivation

  • Ten Reasons Why Things are Better Than You Think
    Are you a pessimist? In the past, being pessimistic had a survival value. In his book, Factfulness, Hans Rosling suggests that many people underestimate the state of the world and people are far more pessimistic than they need to be.
    Read Article >
  • How to Gain Respect
    Respect cannot be demanded, it must be earned. Which of these character traits could you improve upon, in order to gain more respect?
    Read Article >
  • The Difference Between a Wish and a Goal
    Goals give you hope for the future, something to aim for. Wishes are not goals, they are fantasies, detached from reality. Do you know the difference?
    Read Article >
  • How to Motivate Myself and Others
    All leaders need to develop the skill of motivation. Motivation is a specific emotion. All emotions are a product of thought, because whatever you think about causes an emotion. To be positive you need to think positively.
    Read Article >
  • Give Yourself Positive Feedback
    Giving yourself positive feedback is the art of recognising when you have done a good job, and remembering to praise yourself. This promotes a good self-image. A good self-image is important because it is the basis of a healthy personality.
    Read Article >

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