The Dogs Are Loose: Leading Through Disruption and Change

Even after the disruption of a global pandemic, we’re facing even more change and uncertainty in the future. Don’t wish it away; become a better leader instead.

I want to share a lesson I learned about disruption and leadership – from a park! My local park, which is just a short walk from home, is used by many residents – for sports, family time, going for a walk, going for a run (like I did this morning), and it’s a dog park.

I remember when we first brought our cocker spaniel Jessie to the park for a run. Because the park has many uses, the local council had split it into two zones: one where you could let your dog off the leash, and the other where dogs had to be on leashes. There were signs all around the park explaining this. But the problem was, between those two areas, there’s no fence, there’s no gate, and Jessie can’t read!

So of course, when we let her off the leash, she went running everywhere in the park.

Isn’t this exactly what disruption is like now!

We’re all connected, our boundaries are breaking down, and things completely outside our control are having an impact on us. We knew this three years ago when we had a global pandemic which started from another part of the world. And we’re seeing this now with things like AI.

The dogs are off the leash, and we can’t just bring them back in now.

So how do you cope with that?

As a leader, you have two roles: One is to anticipate these changes if possible, and the second is to lead your people through a time of disruption, change, and anxiety.

I’ve created a short self-assessment quiz “Are You a Future-Ready Leader?” to help you.

Use it in three ways:

  1. Self-Assessment: Evaluate yourself as a future-ready leader and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Team Assessment: Encourage your team members to assess themselves (after all, we all need to be leaders now).
  3. Peer Assessment: If you’re brave and open to feedback, invite your team members to do the survey about you!



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