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Your Leadership Orientation: Confusion

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

― Plato, The Republic

You feel most at home when things are unknown and unknowable. You revel in helping people embrace uncertainty, begin to verbalize and conceptualize what's happening, and create opportunities for deep engagement with reality. Yours is the domain of letting go--of no practice.


People know they can rely on you to get people to notice and abide in the present moment. You know how to help people release their reliance on certainty and get to a place that feels safe enough to embrace curiosity―to ask questions of themselves, of others, and of the world.


You work best in contexts where most folks are done trying, because nothing else has worked. Your leadership gift is helping people begin to make sense of some things, while accepting that other things just won't ever make sense. Sometimes, though, you may linger in this domain, or coax people to stay too long alongside you. Moreover, you can find yourself overly dependent upon inhabiting such a rare and honored role in people's lives.

3 Quick Tips for Calibrating

Your Leadership Compass

1) Recognize When People Need You

Your skills are needed more often than any other, yet the stance of leading comfortably within Confusion is relatively rare. Have some ready ways to help people recognize when they are confused, or when their search for solutions will only do harm. Asking curious, wholehearted questions is often your go-to form of communication for doing this.


2) Mind Your Sense of Self

Leaders gifted in the domain of Confusion can lose themselves in a state of aporia, or what Merriam-Webster defines as, "an expression of real or pretended doubt or uncertainty, especially for rhetorical effect." While this state may be a source of spiritual enlightenment for some, it can lead to poor mental and social health in others. Take care to stay grounded in some kind of spiritual or philosophical tradition and culture as you build up this leadership strength.


3) Ward Off Stasis

Humans need to move and change in order to live and grow. Staying in a state of confusion for too long isn't good for most people. They need to be able to decipher what aspects of their situation can change, and then be released to help shape that change. Be careful to watch for signs that people are stagnating in the Confusion domain when it is no longer fulfilling their needs. Watch especially for people who embrace contradictions that prevent them from acknowledging fear or anger; keep a list of qualified therapists for you to refer people.

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