Leading Through Chaos and Distraction

June 25, 2024

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Leading Through Chaos and Distraction

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It’s no secret. We live in a world of chaos, disorder, and distraction. It is affecting life and business in ways we may not be accustomed to experiencing. Even nature itself seems to be getting in on the act.

As leaders, we must face the reality and find a way to lead through the circumstantial fog. Our teams rely on us for clarity.

But here’s the truth of it: we, as leaders, don’t have all the answers.

This is why it is more important than ever to surround yourself with a team of leaders. And not just a team of leaders. Surround yourself with those who may think differently than you. The perspective is needed.

How can you lead through chaos and distraction?

Here are some steps you can take.

Be Real.

While you should not blame outside circumstances alone for issues, you can acknowledge their impact on life and business. The cost of inputs is higher. Employees are challenged in new and unique ways on many fronts. Supply chain and manufacturing issues do exist. AI, with its limitless possibilities, does bring a unique set of risks.

To deny the existence of any of these is to deny reality. And, while a leader should bring a can-do attitude to their team, they must also be real with them.

Realize there are some elements you can’t control.

Try as you might, you can’t fix all the world’s problems. But if enough leaders fix the elements that are in their area of responsibility, it is quite possible the world can be changed from the inside out. And this leads us to the next point, which is, perhaps, the most important of all.

Realize there are many elements you can control.


As a leader, the one thing you can control is yourself. Self-discipline and self-motivation are key traits of a successful leader. For example, if you fail to plan, and your team constantly is in fire-fighting mode, you are only adding to the chaos. But if you discipline yourself to plan well, you can influence a team that will be highly productive and cohesive. Together, you can create a business that flows like a well-oiled machine. There may be chaos without, but there can be harmony within.


Strategic planning is all about taking the unlimited possibilities, the seemingly never-ending issues, the challenges, and the myriads of tasks, and boiling them up to determine the one to five main priority focus projects for each quarter. It is about determining your highest priorities and determining their feasibility in the correct time horizon. The lower the number of meaningful, priority projects, the tighter your focus can be as a team. And tighter focus naturally lends itself to higher productivity.


Great leaders surround themselves with those who have areas of complementary expertise. Think about it. If you, as a leader, don’t have a solution to a problem, what benefit is there to surrounding yourself with others who think the same as you? Your goal should be to create a think tank that can view the situation from different angles. You will want to empower your team to share ideas and insights, even if they run contrary to your own. In considering all angles, you can, together, develop new solutions. Incorporating complementary strengths yields greater results.


Action Steps

  1. Define your current reality. What is going well? What are your challenges?
  2. Define your control level. What circumstances are beyond your control? What circumstances are within your realm of responsibility?
  3. Yourself. How are your levels of self-discipline and self-motivation? How can you strengthen yourself in these areas in order to lead your team well?
  4. How many projects are on your strategic plan for this quarter? Are they your highest priorities? Are they doable in the time horizon of a quarter? Is your team laser-focused, or are they distracted by too many projects, tasks, and random new ideas?
  5. Check your team balance. Do you have complementary strengths in place? Does your team work together to resolve issues? Are they empowered to do their best work?


For valuable resources on Strengths and Strategy, click here.

The Conversation-September 20,2024-Molloy University

Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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