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.

Your team’s values are what bind you and direct you through tough decisions. They’re meant to be consistently ground you as the situation dictates.

Values tend to be more fundamental than goals, purpose, mission, or vision. But purpose, vision and mission can work for you if they’re broad enough to cover almost all the challenges you’re running up against.

There can be times, though, where you’re questioning whether your Big Picture is achievable or even possible. Perhaps the government just made your industry unsustainable. Or a new competitor just arrived which causes you to question the basic viability of your business.

Yes, this happens uncomfortably often.

In this case, go back to your personal and team values. They’re the kind of things where you declare that “if I can’t be this kind of person or organization, I don’t want to be engaged with it.”

That’s happened to me a few times in my lifetime, and those are the times I’ve relied on my values to help find a way forward.