This came in my mailbox from Harvard Business Review. It resonated greatly with my current context: dealing with new scopes, zooming in on net new focuses, and tackling greater challenges.
Sharing it here as a way to remind my future self. You can read the whole article on HBR here.
Facing Uncertainty – It’s All About Mindset
Uncertainty is unavoidable. As a manager, you need to be prepared to lead your team through murky waters, but doing so requires getting in the right mindset yourself. Here are six tips to help you shift your perspective:
1. Embrace the discomfort of not knowing. Move from a know-it-all to a learn-it-all mindset. You don’t need to have all the answers.
2. Distinguish between “complicated” and “complex” issues. They require different solutions.
3. Let go of perfectionism. Instead, aim for progress, expect mistakes, and recognize that you have the ability to continually course correct as needed.
4. Resist the urge to oversimplify and come to quick conclusions. Take a disciplined approach to understand both the complexity of the situation and your own biases.
5. Don’t go it alone. Connect with your peers who have their own set of experiences and perspectives to draw from.
6. Zoom out. Taking a broad, systemic view of the issues at hand can reveal unexamined assumptions that would otherwise be invisible
Yes, it is here: this week I received my Stanford LEAD graduation certificate in my mailbox after a year-long journey.
After 1 year, 9 courses, 10 teams, 83 submissions, and hundreds of self-research hours, I can proudly wrap up another chapter in my life-long learning journey.
How it started
It was in August 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for over a year, I decided to turn this challenging time into a memorable time. At work, I was leading my teams with a net new initiative, a critical mission to help my company grow 5X over the next 3 years. At home, I was expecting a new baby and at the same time, my 2-year-old son was ready to go to preschool. We’re also moving to a new home.
One might say there was never a busier time.
But I did it. I chose to go to Stanford. One month after submitting my essays, references, and video presentation, I received the Stanford welcome letter.
Reflection on the course
Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to meet Stanford GSB’s world-class faculty. From renowned professors, inspiring course facilitators to amazing fellow LEADers – leaders of their own organizations, all have been very welcoming. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to learn, share, and practice all aspects of leadership.
The contents were excellent, with each course being designed to be very interactive. The case studies were fantastic with relevant industry examples and many were from Harvard (yes, HBR articles are weekly must-read). I must say I loved the readings and case study, but not so much for written submissions 🙂
The course structure was pretty flexible with offline readings and 1-hour Zoom call every week with professors and course facilitators (CF). Our CFs were wonderful partners and many of them were in fact LEAD alumni. I was truly humbled to have my coaching sessions with many of them.
Fun fact: each Stanford LEAD cohort is given a unique name representing the GSB spirit. In the past, we have had names such as Vanguards, Explorers, Pathfinders – mine is Navigators. It meant so much when the whole world was navigating uncharted water with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Being a life-long learner, I’d wholeheartedly recommend Stanford LEAD to anyone who aspires to be a leader in your organization and considering. To help with the course selection, I will share the courses I took, together with my experience in another blog post.
Here are some excerpts for a preview:
Principled and Purposeful Leadership Rank: A Leadership lessons through self-reflection, looking inward, looking outward, defining your own values, mission, then defining an execution plan for your mission within the organization. Executive coaching sessions available.
Critical Analytical Thinking Rank: A+ Frameworks for thinking logically, realizing biases and deriving reasonable conclusions, plenty of practicing with team and debates, excellent reading materials & examples on how some legendary leaders in the industry made their decisions.
Financing Innovation: The Creation of Value Rank: A- Corporate finance, financial statements (P & L, cash flow, annual reports), method to calculate WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital), understanding startup funding series (pre-money, post-money value).
Strategic Leadership Rank: B+ General leadership strategies, defining a firm’s core strengths and advantages.
Communicating with Impact Rank: A+ Solid techniques and strategies, applicable frameworks for effective communication.
Decision Making Rank: A Frameworks and tools for well-rounded, sound decision making process with imperative and data-driven approaches.
Customer Experience Design – A Neuroscience Perspective Rank: A- Put customers first, see through their lens, leverage the X framework to convert customers from low → high-energy engagement.
Persuasion: Principles and Practice Rank: A+ Superb psychological insights & comm strategies. Simple yet effective examples through leadership stories.
The Innovation Playbook Rank: A Imagine you’re a startup founder with a problem & an idea: these are the steps to take your product from concept to POC to launch.