When it comes to leadership, tranquil is as common as unicorns. If there’s no unrest in leading you’re either delusional, doing it wrong or both. Leading involves unrest and frustration. Unrest with the status quo and a frustration to realise an unseen future.

Addressing the status quo in pursuit of mission is messy. Chaos is guarantee to result as comfort of the present is rejected in pursuit of mission. There will always certain levels of chaos.

Checked vs Unchecked Chaos

Leaders must deal with chaos. To an extent they can choose the kind of chaos to deal with.



Chaos is a guaranteed thing in any enterprise. It cannot be separated from leading. Make peace with this fact to be a happy and effective leader.

Having said that, there are two kinds of chaos.

Checked Chaos

This kind of chaos is one that is intentionally created by leaders bringing about change. Because it is created, its impact more anticipated than the other chaos we’ll looked at.

This kind of chaos is fairly controlled and purposeful. There is a method to the  madness. Because it is controlled it can be contained. That is you can experiment with changes and ideas before you scale them.

Checked chaos is like demolishing a section of a building to better reconstruct it, before it falls apart. It is about anticipating catastrophe by acting now.

Failure or disruptions are not eliminated but risk is somewhat minimised.

Unchecked Chaos

On the other hand is unchecked chaos. It is chaos that generally results from an unforeseen internal or external environmental factor. More destructive than the former, it is lacks clarity.

Unchecked (and any kind of chaos too) can teach leaders and organisations a lot, depending on how they navigate it. However, this could happen at a great price. Unchecked chaos can be the result of not doing an preventative maintenance.

Jittery leaders can add an unhealthy spin to unchecked chaos.


Leaders must be aware that chaos is inevitable. They have the option to create it or be destroyed by it. In fact leadership is most needed and should be most visible in times of chaos and instability.

Leading is about creating and navigating chaos. It is about creating and managing order to make sure that people and processes align.

Seeking a chaos-free enterprise is unrealistic. Any leader with that kind of thinking doesn’t deserve to be at the helm of anything.

Leader, make peace with the fact that chaos is inherent to leading and rise above it.

Chaos in any enterprise is inevitable. To better make sure success in your mission understand checked vs. unchecked chaos.

Leading is about checked chaos. Lead [Click to Tweet]

Be boldBe /ˈherətik/.

Published by Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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