Now & Not Now: Decision-Making & Decisive Leadership in Uncertain Times


Now & Not Now: Decision-Making & Decisive Leadership in Uncertain Times

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One of my former coaching clients contacted me earlier this week looking for direction. Now I’ve had several clients over the years share with me during our coaching programs that they regularly find themselves wondering “W.W.J.D.?” When my first client shared that acronym for “What Would Jeremy Do?” with me, I laughed. Since then, I’ve simply come to appreciate that my role as an executive coach is to shift my clients’ thinking with new insights and ideas whether I’m there by their sides or not.

This one was different though. I haven’t coached this leader for several years, and he’s now CEO of a completely different organization. These are unprecedented times though, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised that even he’s looking for some outside perspective on how best to make decisions with all of the uncertainty around Coronavirus. He was in the process of drafting communications about their future plans for his key customers, and as he put it, “No one really knows what October is going to look like!”

The guidance he needed comes from the distinction between “Now” and “Not Now”. You might think you know what “now” means. Sure, it’s right now. If you’re open to it, now can mean so much more than that though. Now serves as a powerful way of classifying anything that exists and is already being managed, whether it’s in this very moment or something for which we’ve already planned. Now, I’m writing an article about decisive leadership. I’m also handling several other things now though.

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Stop Talking & Start Listening!

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Do you ever find yourself only paying attention to information that interests you? Do you ever interrupt someone who is speaking to you to make your own point? Perhaps you simply tune out people you don’t like or multi-task at your computer while only listening out of one ear when you have to communicate with these folks you don’t like.

As leaders, we can all do a better job of paying attention to those around us. If we stop speaking so much ourselves and really listen to what they are trying to say, we may not only produce better results together but also gain greater personal satisfaction and fulfillment from our work! To that end, the following key points will help you evaluate your own communications approaches and learn to communicate more effectively moving forward.

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