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According to Dictionary.com, Chaos is a state of utter confusion or disorder. Do you lead a team that is constantly in disorder? Or have you worked in one? Chaos is when you are trying to sort out an issue, and 20 others have arisen. Chaos is when a talent has more tasks than they can handle and another talent is literally free like a bird. Chaos is when you literally can’t sleep because something is going on in the team that might likely hugely affect the result of what you are working on.

If you have ever had to fight these battles as a team leader, I would guess that you have asked yourself this question over and over. Through this content, I will try to provide likely answers so you can have clarity as to how to stabilize your team.

I need to say that some of these concepts have professional modalities to them, but the goal of this newsletter is to turn these things into relatable things that even non-professionals or those without professional certification can relate with, use and then act upon to make their team better.

Why Does Chaos Happen?

One of the things that characterizes great and successful leaders is the ability to see issues ahead and prepare for them or even solve them before they come up. Oftentimes, issues and blockers not seen/spotted ahead and not solved ahead shape up into chaos and battles on the team.

Chaos really heightens up when it then seems you don’t have enough time to address each of the issues coming up. If you had just 2 team members, chances are that you can easily manage the issues and difficulties that come up, but when you have 20, and then issues are arising for each end, you will literally be torn in many directions.

Sample Chaos Bound Situations

  1. High Staff Turnover: One major implication is that you find yourself in a constant cycle of putting new talent through how things work on your team. Planning your project activities, OKR or KPI/targets without putting into consideration the amount of time that the change of planet will cost you definitely means there is chaos looming.
  2. Working With Talent Who Have Lesser Skill Than The Job Demands: With this, you will constantly find yourself augmenting their work, correcting, and also caught in between a lot of back and forth.
  3. Not Taking Time To Flesh Out A Process Checklist: Here, you will find yourself constantly explaining things over and over, especially if you have your team expanding.
  4. Stopping At Strategy: Great strategy at best is a great strategy. As a team leader, you need to see the strategy through to creating an implementation plan with clear tasks, KPI and targets for each of the people involved in making the strategy happen.
  5. Not Having Enough Foresight To Create Back-Up Plans: For each activity ongoing, there is a big chance that something might go wrong, in fact, when you create a plan, you should be really asking yourself, what might go wrong. Say you are shooting a new commercial, if you are doing this in areas where you can’t guarantee some logistics, thinking through what might go wrong could really help you make backup plans.
  6. Taking Too Much Work Than Your Team Really Can Handle More work is good, in some cases, it means more work, but can your team handle the work ahead? Do you have enough skilled staff, do you have the time-space to squeeze it in? Of course, if the answers to those are all NO, then that’s chaos looming.
  7. Business Strategy Flaws: So based on my previous point, you could be accepting more work for your team because you need to generate more revenue. However, this could be a result of a bad business strategy. If your business model requires you to sell 1,000 units of a product to hit a revenue goal, are there ways you could adjust your customer focus such that if you sell 100 units of another service, you could charge more and do considerably less amount of work.

I can go on and on.

In the real sense, some of these things are beyond your control, and you really get to build expertise and dexterity in managing this as you get along. The goal for you is to start to evolve into a proactive manager and not a reactive manager.

The more you can identify a chaos-prone situation or decision, the more you can reduce the chaos. I will also say, that even if you have to go by a route that you know might cause chaos, knowing what could go wrong will help you make adequate preparation or help you brace yourself for the storm that is about to come.

So, what are other practical things to do to reduce the chaos? Or what should you start or stop doing to achieve some more stability? I have some 9 actionable steps which I will share in the next newsletter. Stay tuned.

Until then, keep steering your ship of leadership with confidence and stay proactive in the face of challenges.

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