Is Chaotic Leadership really “a thing”?

The headlines are full of judgments against our current Commander-in-Chief as running a chaotic administration, leading by instinct, and other unflattering terms to describe his management style. Mr. Trump’s response is that, aside from everything being “fine”, he likes being unpredictable, thinks conflict is good, and that he “gets a lot of things done”.

But the White House is not the only workplace where chaos reigns supreme. Leaders from every sector of the economy, from corporations to small churches, fall prey to this management style that, no matter who you are, has similar results.

Creative, innovative, bold, and fast-paced are all adjectives that can be applied to the best leaders around. But if these qualities are not tempered by a clear vision, long-term strategy, alignment within the organization and strong, cohesive leadership teams, there’s a pretty good chance that the resulting style can be best described as chaotic.

Here are eight qualities and outcomes of chaotic leadership: 

Chaotic leaders tend to have poor insight and judgment about their communication and management styles and the impact it has on their staff. No one plans to lead by chaos or even wants to. But these leaders see themselves completely differently than how other see them. They tend to be blind to the impact of how they manage and solve problems. What they may think of as a creative and exhilarating work environment may be experienced by staff as unsettling and disconcerting. At its worst, it can be complete pandemonium. Continue reading