“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt

As I write this I’m thinking about my place in the world. I’ve been taking time lately to think on the following questions:

What influence do I hold?

Who listens to me?

Who has power over me?

Do I matter?

Those who value the talents they hold and are concerned about using them wisely should run across these questions occasionally. They are an important part of personal and professional development. There needs to be occasional doubt to drive us to growth. But some days I’ll ask these questions and the answers I come up with can be pretty depressing. Sometimes I assess the situation and I feel like I’m just not making any significant impact.

I believe that no matter who you are or how far you have made it in your leadership role these questions will always be nipping at your heels. There will always be the nagging of feeling that you just haven’t done enough.


I think that’s good…in moderation.


Too much self-doubt and you become paralyzed with fear, but when you are charged to lead others and feel that you have no say in the larger world around you what else is there to do but become doubtful? What is the correct action take when you feel there is no certainty that your decision will pay off? What heading to you move toward with confidence that someone else’s decision won’t wipe out the progress you make?

These are tough questions. It can be tough to carry the burden and responsibility for the wellbeing of others when you have no control over the environment that you are living in. So what is the answer? What do we do?

I have decided to follow the example of Theodore Roosevelt who said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” My only answer to the question of how to function as a leader in an uncertain world is that you should do everything that you can to continue leading those around you to be better.


It’s always going to be the answer.


Stay positive and work hard. Change what you can and when you fail, try again. These principles and values are inherent to true leaders, and those who live by them rise to the top regardless of what is happening around them. The reason is simple: people follow those who find a way to make progress (no matter how small) even in the most trying of circumstances.

So my challenge to you is this:

When it comes to the political fray in the U.S. and the uncertainty of the repercussions of its result,

When it comes to the Brexit referendum and the effects it might have on your business,

When you don’t see the results you want in whatever situation you place such tremendous value of “your side” winning,

Keep YOUR heading and continue moving YOUR people in the right direction. Don’t let the occurrences that you can’t control affect the outcomes you can bring about or your resolve to see them come to fruition.

Political climates change.

Economies surge and dip.

Businesses open and close.

You can help people (clients, teammates, congregants, friends…) through it all.


Now that’s good advice.