That predicting the future seems impossible, even around things you’ve managed well in the past . . .
Like things are more complex and complicated than ever . . .
That it’s harder to find meaning behind issues or events . . . .
You’re in good company.
You probably have been for a while.
And, no, it’s not your fault.
It’s our VUCA world.
More than two decades ago, the U.S. Army came up with an acronym for what’s making so many of us feel, well, just plain off. It’s VUCA, and it stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
If it feels like the world’s VUCA-quotient is growing and suspect that it’s not going away any time soon, you’re right.
Leadership and management experts have identified a sort of VUCA Navigation Toolkit, called VUCA Prime: vision, understanding, clarity and agility.
So vision becomes the antidote to volatility.
Which is great if you can see through the VUCA-induced chaos to even come up with a vision in the first place.
If you’re like many of my clients when they first come to me, though, the most specific thing you’ve got for a vision statement is something like “anywhere but here, anything but this, just something different.”
Which is perfect. Because, while VUCA says “V is for Volatility” and VUCA Prime says “V is for Vision,” I propose that “V is for Values.”
If you’re in a place where figuring out your values feels hard and mildly overwhelming, don’t fret: there’s an app for that.
OK, so it’s an assessment, called the VIA Survey of Character Strengths.
The “VIA” is a research-based tool to identify the top five or so values that represent the ways you most naturally show up in and best fuel you to thrive in a VUCA world. It’s based on the work of positive psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania, and it’s been vetted through tens of thousands of sets of results from folks around the world over nearly twenty years Taking it – for free – is a great way to not only identify your values, but also understand and talk about values with a common vocabulary, because – how cool is this – we all have access to all twenty-four and can experience an energy boost simply by witnessing others using their values.
Clients who come to me knowing they want to change something but struggling to find the vision of exactly what find that learning and leveraging their strengths becomes like super fuel for their renewable, personal energy. When they identify their top strengths, recognize how they’ve shown up throughout their lives and begin to leverage them with intention and creativity, lightness, energy, clarity, and yes, vision result.
If the world’s volatility (and uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) have you spinning your wheels, a clear vision is a great way to get grounded and get moving toward your goals.
If you’re stuck around the vision part, understanding and applying your innate values – your character strengths – are like rocket boosters toward clarifying your vision.
Ready to learn more? Looking for support to clarify your vision and cultivating renewable personal fuel through your innate values? Chart Your Course coaching is a great place to start. Let’s talk about how starting with “V is for Vision” can help you positively navigate the VUCA world.
image: Pixabay; used with permission