From Caves to Corporate: Mastering Leadership in Uncertain Times


Going into the Unknown

Sometimes in life, we have to go into the unknown. An unknown such as joining an expedition through some caves in Oman. Starting off with a safety briefing and being given serious survival gear, really stirs up ones nerves.

As a leader, how do we lead in these situations when they occur in real life? We cannot see the future and scary unknowns could occur at any time. How do we prepare and lead our teams through these challenging and sometimes dangerous situations?

Don’t Be Driven By Ego

Many of us fall prey to our egos at times. We do what makes us look good, rather than taking the most sensible route.

As a leader, you need to focus on not being driven by ego. Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly, your limitations. Work with them and choose the path that keeps you safe, even if it is not the most exciting or flashy option.

Choosing to take a detour to avoid a dangerous decent down a rockface may get you some ridicule, but it is the more sensible decision.

Why Was it Challenging?

The challenging part of being in the caves was being cold and wet. This really affected our bodies and our bodies had to adapt to the environment we were in.

This is the same in life, political instability can cause your business to be in a cold, wet place. Rather than letting it get to you, you can choose to adjust to your new environment, finding ways to both survive and to thrive.

The other challenging part was the fear of the unknown, not knowing what was ahead! You have no knowledge of the timeline or of the route we were taking. The guides did not communicate this to us, leaving us wondering.

Learnings From This Experience

There are a number of clear learnings we can take from this experience as a leader. These are:

  1. Communicate decisively. Your goal, timeline, and expectations need to be shared.
  2. Don’t be driven by ego. Do the sensible thing.
  3. Adapt to your environment. Learn to survive and thrive no matter what the outside world throws your way.
  4. Know and use the tools of the trade. Both you and your team need to use the tools to get the job done. No ego driven Rambo moves!



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