Don’t be deceived. There is a way forward.

The word chaos has its roots in a Greek word meaning “void” or “chasm” – in other words, there’s an absence of order or understanding. Depending on its severity, experiencing this gulf in predictability can be terrifying. (What will happen to me?)

Chaos forces us to make a decision: Will we choose to continue to believe what we’ve always held as true? Or will we suspend our beliefs, enter the dissonance and ambiguity, and come out having discovered new truths?

Leaders who embrace the first line of thinking will shout: Go back. Retreat. We’ll find order and the normalcy we crave by arranging things as they were.

The alternative, of course, is to press forward. People who do so understand that on the other side of the chaos lies a new understanding, an evolved way of doing things; order.

To fear the void is human. To enter into it requires the wisdom that if we retreat we’ll merely be subjecting ourselves to repeating the same chaos in the future. (Because life wants to grow.)

There is a route through the chasm. It’s a map with coordinates called purpose, community and values. To see and use these elements as our guide requires establishing and maintaining clear connections to these coordinates.

Will we end the chaos by going back to the way things were – or forward to a new way of doing things? If we choose to move forward, we’ll need collaborative leaders who know the map, who connect us to what matters most.

We’ll need you.

P.S. Patrick Criteser is a connector who leads forward. As the CEO of Tillamook, he’s guided his successful organization across chasms of chaos. Join us this Thursday, June 4, at 10 a.m. EST, on the Collaborative Leader’s Huddle to hear how he leads his organization by making the connections that matter.

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