I love chaos. Every business I’ve been associated with has grown during chaotic times. I remember accepting a job because the company had a mess. Over time we moved from messy to chaotic to a team with momentum. I realize that many people are uncomfortable with chaos, and like anything, if overdone chaos can turn into long-term confusion and disarray. However, even then it isn’t that chaos is bad; it’s that it hasn’t been managed or led. It’s like a spirited and rambunctious child who needs parenting.
Leaders gather momentum from chaos. They run with it, develop it, grow through it and assess teammates during it. Some of my best up and coming leaders got their chance to grow during times of chaos. Good leaders learn how to bridle and manage the process of chaos. Once tamed, chaos transitions into momentum.
So how can we discipline chaos without snuffing it out?
Know that chaos is just a new season of an upcoming opportunity. Get your team together and address what is causing the chaos. Point out the pros and cons so you don’t throw out opportunity just because it means change.
Step it up.
I discovered the potential in my future leaders by watching how they handled chaos. Hungry emerging leaders attack the chaos while serving the team. Prima donna leaders and followers usually complain about the chaos. You start to hear them recite their job description. Instead of seizing the moment they complain about the moment.
Chaos can be the spark to greatness.
When I was in the staffing business I remember growing at such a pace that my peers were questioning the healthiness of our growth because it was, in their eyes, chaos. Ha ha. Soon our chaos was corralled and our growth sustained itself at record levels for years to come. It was an unstoppable momentum that was sparked by moments, days, and even weeks of chaos.
Gather your team.
Chaos forces me to gather my leaders. I don’t like handling chaos alone. It takes me too long to corral and no one grows from it if I attack it by myself. As the team leader, however, I must inspire others to want in on the chaos. They have to see it as opportunity to seize, not just a mess to clean up.
Imagine the alternative.
No chaos, no momentum, no mojo… sounds like a quiet death to me.
Have you ever gotten through a chaotic time? What do you think? Can we grow without chaos in our life?