Time to invest in Leadership

invest now

At the time of writing, Covid-19 is escalating and the impact is growing on humans and business around the world, as I wrote in my last two posts: “Act Now” and “Crisis leadership – This too shall pass“. Counter-intuitive though it may seem for some, I encourage business leaders to invest now in leadership.

Right now economic activity is down and will stay down for some time, so where you have a healthy Balance Sheet, “zig” while others “zag”, invest in leadership, in the core qualities not only at times of crisis but into the future.

I begin today’s thoughts around this by noting that on my #BeMoreYou page, I list four core qualities of #OpenLeadership as being: Brave, Hungry, Open, Humble.

I’ll follow on now by talking about VUCA 2.0, or how to lead in our VUCA world.

From VUCA to VUCA2.0

VUCA 2.0 is a powerful reframe of VUCA resonant and similar to #OpenLeadership and was introduced by Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, in his February 2017 article in Forbes:

VUCA 2.0: A Strategy For Steady Leadership In An Unsteady World

Many are now familiar with VUCA, but Bill talks about how to lead in this world. He begins his article:

In a 1998 report designed to train officers for the twenty-first century, the United States War College presaged a world that is “volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous” —VUCA, for short. VUCA describes perfectly what is happening in the global business world today.


  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous

As Bill notes, these are terms derived from military assessments, yet, as with shifts in military doctrine in recent years in response to such unpredictability, we need new ways of leadership.

As my home page states right away:

Command-and-control leadership is losing its grip. A new way is emerging: #OpenLeadership, embracing change as constant, encouraging individual thought, relying on intuition more than data, fluidity more than hierarchy, trust more than fear, and putting the common good ahead of profit.

I agree with Bill that for a VUCA world we need VUCA 2.0 Leadership:

  • Vision
  • Understanding
  • Courage
  • Adaptability

Bill notes:

Managerial training in the classic techniques of control systems, financial forecasting, strategic planning, and statistical decision making have not prepared them for this amount of flux in the environment.

In short, these rapid-fire changes are putting extreme pressure on business leaders to lead in ways not heretofore seen.

Now is the time for authentic business leaders to step forward and lead in ways that business schools don’t teach.

I hope this is of value to you in this moment, and also that you choose to invest in your own leadership and that of your whole business. If you are open to learning more, I’d love to talk to you.

Let’s talk

Book your 30-minute meeting here.

Also published on Medium.