The stunning video entitled “How Wolves Change Rivers” offers dramatic evidence of “trophic cascade” and the theory of unintended consequences. Indeed, the video is introduced by a quote from naturalist John Muir:
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
So, when you make a change, it does not stand alone. It will inevitably impact everything else.
Which begs the question about the leadership decisions you make.
The standard planning model is to identify where you want to go and then craft a plan backward to today. That is to say, one answers the question, “If the endpoint is to occur, what has to be true immediately before that happens? And before that?” At last, presto! you have a plan.
Yet Muir was right and there will always be impact on those who look to you for leadership that you likely won’t be able to predict. Some impacts will be good; some, not so good. Some will generate fear.
How will you deal with that? Your job as the leader is to step up your game, acknowledge the unanticipated consequences and make the best of them for your company and your people. That is what great leaders do.
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