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Relax, It's Only Uncertainty

Relax, It's Only Uncertainty

Lead the Way When the Way is Changing

Philip Hodgson, Randall White

Apr 2001, Paperback, 240 pages
ISBN13: 9780273652410
ISBN10: 0273652419
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In times of uncertainty, the ability to act without fear of failure can be a huge asset. In a world where the only thing you can be certain of is uncertainty, business leaders need to stop trying to control the uncontrollable, and start embracing the unknown. This book will show you how to be comfortable with ambiguity, confident with change, open to discovery and at ease with the new world of business. Then you can lead with confidence and flexibility, whatever the situation.

Want to be more confident about the ambiguities that you and your business face? Ask yourself these questions:
Am I drawn instinctively to the edge of my knowledge rather than the centre of it?
Am I attracted to projects and problems with an element of the unknown in them?
Do I have trouble with heated situations?
Will I generally take a chance and make a decision?
Do I prefer to have a full set of information before deciding?
Do I ask penetrating questions about what's going on?
Can I decide what are the most important things to do?
Can I capture a business strategy in a single sentence?

Your answers will reveal some of the essential elements of personal and corporate success in the new economy. Curiosity, risk taking, focus, persuasion and energy are personal skills that you can bring to bear to tackle tough issues, simplify complex topics, gather energy from complex challenges and carry people with you.

Relax... will help you decide intuitively, act decisively and lead through ambiguity and change. This inventive and interactive book will help you develop the behaviours lead the way when the way is changing.

Phil has worked full time at Ashridge since 1983. He is co-director of the Action Learning for Chief Executives Programme, and co-director of the Executive Coaching Service. He is a major contributor to Ashridge's strategic management and leadership programmes. He is client director for organisations in healthcare, financial services, fmcg, publishing, and manufacturing. He teaches, consults, researches and writes in the areas of leadership, change, handling uncertainty, and top executive learning and development.

Before joining Ashridge, Phil worked in real jobs for nearly 15 years as a manager in a variety of service and transport industries, where he was involved in management and organisational development roles. After leaving university his first work was as a volunteer social worker in the Solomon Islands, West Pacific, and before he completely grew up, he spent some time as a software engineer. His degrees are in psychology and industrial psychology, and he is a Master Practitioner in NLP.

His earlier books are: A Practical Guide to Successful Interviewing - on assessment and interviewing techniques, published by McGraw Hill; Effective Meetings, published by Century Business for the Sunday Times; Making Change Work, published by Mercury Books. He has written two books on leadership: What High Performance Managers Really Do with Stuart Crainer, published by Pitman in 1993, looked at how leaders implement strategy. His fifth, The Future of Leadership, with Randall White and Stuart Crainer, published by Pitman in 1996, explored and researched the skills needed for effective future leadership in the face of unprecedented change and uncertainty.
Dr. Randall P. White is a principal in the Executive Development Group LLC, Greensboro, NC, and an adjunct professor at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

Randy’s work in leadership development regularly takes him to Europe, South America, and Pacific-Asia. He also teaches MBA students in the Park Fellows Leadership Program and Executive MBAs at the Johnson School, Cornell University. He is a frequent speaker for a variety of industry groups, including the Conference Board of the US and Canada, the Human Resources Planning Society, the American Society for Training & Development, and the Institute for Management Studies. He maintains an affiliation with the Center for Creative Leadership, where he spent 12 years developing programs and research on leadership. His list of current consulting clients includes M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Mobil Oil, Siemens, Aetna, ABB, Osram Sylvania, Thomson, and Kennametal.

Randy is a former board member of the American Society of Training & Development and is active on program committees of the American Psychological Association and the Academy of Management. He is a new fellow in Division 13 of APA.

Randy’s interest in where leaders come from, how they develop, and their eventual success is borne out in his writing. As co-author of Breaking the Glass Ceiling and The Future of Leadership, he has had a major impact on the way women are viewed as leaders and the importance of less easily measured leadership skills like dealing with uncertainty. He has written in both popular and scientific outlets on leadership. He currently has a critically acclaimed piece on different types of leadership coaching (first published in the Consulting Psychologist).

He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Leaders and Leadership and in 1997 was a Salzburg Fellow on Women’s Issues. Randy holds an AB from Georgetown, an MS from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Cornell.

"Finally! A practical approach to this world of uncertainty we all inhabit. As leaders, we all know that the increasing rate of change in our environment is here to stay. What Hodgson and White offer that is new is a measured approach with real, concrete steps we can take to help us embrace and exploit change with greater creativity and confidence. Ms. Ellen McCoy, former CIO Mobil Oil"In today’s complex and dynamic times Phil Hodgson and Randy White’s thoughtful piece on ambiguity is a godsend. It provides as thoughtful a treatment of ambiguity as any piece of work and is of great service for anyone managing in today’s times. I highly recommend this book." Blair H. Sheppard, President and CEO, Duke Corporate Education, Inc. "Practical, wise, insightful, varied ... this book challenges business leaders to think and behave out of the box, in the process growing their understanding that uncertainty and confusion can be faced productively and entrepreneurally." Professor Leslie Hannah, MA, DPhil, PhD, CEO of Ashridge Management College "It is often said that we live in a time of change, but what we see at present is more than that. Whole industries are in turmoil and we are faced with abandoning many of the things we have done in the past. Ambiguity is rife. This book moves the discussion on leadership in an age of uncertainty to a new level. It is alive with cases, wisdom and excellent advice" Sir Brian Pitman FCIB CIMgt, Chairman of LLoyds TSB Group plc "Intriguing - a fast ride through uncertainty and how to deal with it. White and Hodgson pack a thousand pages worth of insight and tips into this brief volume." Michael Lombardo, Lominger Ltd. "In today's world, if you are not leading change, you are not really leading. Relax It's Only Uncertainty will provide valuable insights as you meet the challenge of the future. A useful diagnostic and the practical insights of a trusted confidant of top executives are well worth the investment of a few hours of your time. Paul Hogan, Vice Chairman and Chief Risk Officer, Fleet Boston Financial Corporation. "This timely book concludes all of the arguments we have heard regarding managing and leading and places leaders exactly where they should be: permanently at the forefront of market and business innovation. The authors bring an area that we thought we always intuitively understood into clear focus and provide a framework for identifying and developing leaders who will not only drive meaningful change, but also thrive in these uncertain times." Alphonsus Keogh, Director Global Programs, Siemens AG "Relax, it’s only uncertainty points out eight factors that block a leader’s ability to deal with an uncertain future. One is preoccupation with the past that is known and familiar. This book is a guide and "wake up call" for anyone worried about the future of their organization – whether it will keep up or get left behind. Organizations with leaders like the ones described here are much more likely to be successful. The others are heading toward tough times." Dr. Kimball Kehoe, an independent consultant in Spring, Texas