I started talking last week about the acronym VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. I’m sure we can all relate to how this describes the world that each of our organizations live in.

I’m offering a replacement for VUCA which tells us how to navigate through all this instability. V was for Values, U is for … Uplift.

That’s because one of the biggest issues we’re dealing with is fear and morale.

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In 1987, Warren Bennis and Burt Nanu created the term VUCA to describe the leadership challenges created from a world which was increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. It became more popular because the acronym captured some of the tension that people were feeling in many industries and organizations.

There’s no question that most of us are experiencing this.

How do we deal with it? In the coming weeks, I’ll introduce you to a replacement VUCA which leads you to constructive action. It starts with Values.

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There are many times in business where it feels like you don’t know where you’re going. Employee issues. Customers giving you grief.

It just feels like the formula isn’t working anymore.

So what do you do when it feels like a need for change somehow?

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A recent Gallup paper concluded: “When your best employees are not engaged, they are as likely to leave your organization as your employees who tend to have performance issues and are unhappy.”

We can all understand how your under-performers will look for opportunities elsewhere. And, honestly, you don’t worry so much about them, right?

Good riddance. They weren’t delivering that much for me anyway.

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Amazon.com is now over half a million people. For such an incredibly automated service, this is an astounding number of employees.

But you’d be hard pressed to find ANY business where its success doesn’t lie in the hands of its people.

So how do they manage this?

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You know exactly why employee motivation matters. Productivity. Teamwork. Customer service.

But I run across a whole lot of people who don’t know how to build and nurture that innovation. They think it’s just a magic thing that some people have and some don’t.That’s why I was excited to read Why Managers Must Ask 5 Questions to Empower Employees, one of Gallup’s top 2018 reports. It’s practical and powerful.

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Several things happened to me recently which reminded me that … the beauty in life comes from what also makes it messy.

I tend to be an organized guy, so it doesn’t feel comfortable when I’m dealing with things outside my control. I like to have a plan.

But I was part of an event organizing team recently, and the event was truly amazing. Yet it wasn’t as structured and tightly controlled as I would normally prefer. So why did it work so well?

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I’ve written profiles for about 80 values-driven businesses, and one of them shut down last week. As I think about it, there are probably 7 or 8 which have failed in the last five years.

That’s better than average, actually, as the SBA estimated that 95% of startups don’t survive their first five years. But it’s not a comforting thought.

As someone who is trying to do something special, even world-changing, in your business, why don’t statistics like this cause you to just give up?

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RECENTLY I HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION with a local service club about Conscious Capitalism. One of the members remarked that he’s heard about companies wanting to “do good” for decades. So what does Conscious Capitalism – and similar kinds of thinking – bring to the discussion?

This is a fabulous question! Because, in fact, some companies have engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other kinds of philanthropy for a long time.

What’s new is how this is growing and accelerating. First, because people have been developing some core competencies and given us a language.

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It’s wonderful to be the boss, right? You get all the recognition and glory while your people do all the hard work.

Yeah, I don’t see that either.

The truth is that if you want to have time for your life, in any position at all, you have to create it.

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