How to Break the Cycle of the Damaging Effects of a VUCA World

How to Break the Cycle of Living in a VUCA World

In early 2020 we entered the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world big time. These four words, which are borrowed from the description of the world at the end of the Cold War by the US military, certainly apply to today’s highly anxious 24/7 COVID world as well.

Let’s take a closer look at how we may be perceiving the situation today.

In early 2020 we entered the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world big time. These four words, which are borrowed from the description of the world at the end of the Cold War by the US military, certainly apply to today’s highly anxious 24/7 COVID world as well.

Let’s take a closer look at how we may be perceiving the situation today.

In the research and 2009 published works by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey — Immunity to Change, the concept of the Worry Box is introduced as an image of a foreboding “big assumption” that people often make when confronted with a challenge. Their research revealed the tendency people have to conjure up a terrible scenario when faced with a big challenge where the stakes are high, and outcomes are not assured. The envisioned calamity, which is often a false narrative, arises out of fear initially and without objective thinking can spiral down to the point of irrational behavior driven by both actual and perceived threats. As a person spirals down, they often begin to over-function or under-function.

In our Resilient Leadership (RL) training and coaching programs, we offer a number of resources and tools to help leaders recognize and manage their reactivity. Related to over/under functioning, here are three helpful ideas which help RL practitioners cope by seeing, thinking and leading from a more thoughtful place:

1. SEE: Observe the role that reactivity plays in your own over/under functioning. How you are thinking, feeling or acting in a way that limits the responsible action of others?

2. THINK: Recognize the reciprocal nature of over and under functioning. Who is either under functioning or over functioning as a counterbalance to your own over or under functioning?

3. ACT: Take action to break the cycle of by focusing on your own over or under functioning. What steps can you take to eliminate your own over or under functioning to interrupt the cycle that has been created?

For more information about our full range of Resilient Leadership Training and Coaching course contact JimM@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com

About Jim Moyer...

Jim Moyer

Jim is a founding member of Resilient Leadership, LLC, and is the co-author with Bob Duggan of the book Resilient Leadership. Jim is an Executive Coach and strategic planning and organizational development consultant with over 30 years experience in for-profit, not-for-profit, and government organizations.

Jim has successfully grown his consulting and coaching practice since 1998. Before he began his consulting practice Jim worked for 25 years at Marriott International as a manager, director, and senior executive in Strategy, Organizational Development, Human Resources, Quality and Loss Prevention.