In my work with agency owners, the topic of uncertainty comes up constantly.
- Uncertainty in the sales pipeline. Folks say yes, then back out. Deals drag on without a yes, or a no. Budgets shift. Decision-makers change.
- Uncertainty with the team. People problems are universal. Good folks disappear on you or just get distracted by life. Can you hire when you need folks?
- Uncertainty with the market/economy. The post-pandemic market is filled with uncertainty. Will the services our clients loved in 2021 be what they need in 2022?
We’re always looking for ways to reduce uncertainty. Why can’t we get a solid forecast from our sales team or better estimates from the production folks?
But no matter how accurate we make our forecasts, intuitively we know they are either lucky or wrong.
Leading through uncertainty.
If we accept that uncertainty is a given. If we give up on creating certainty, how do we lead?
The problem with striving to reduce uncertainty is that we spend a lot of time focused on our spreadsheets and forecasts, thinking about the future. To get the inputs, we need to burn a lot of our team’s time and attention.
Yet, the most important indicators of what’s to come are right here, in the present.
The future is fuzzy and uncertain, but the present is clear, and the signals are accurate.
If you walk away from your spreadsheet and spend an hour reaching out to clients, or listening to your team members, what would you see? If you slowed down and left some room in your schedule each day, what would you notice? What signals would you discover?
I love spreadsheets. I do. But not to the exclusion of our intuitive understanding of what’s going on right now.
How can you amplify the signals that are available right now?