Leadership in a VUCA World

Edited by:
Lou L. Sabina, Stetson University
Chris J. Colwell, Stetson University
James Tager, Bangor School Department, Maine

Published 2023

COVID-19 ravaged the United States and the rest of the world in a similar manner as a Category V hurricane would, leaving no one safe in its wake. Unlike a hurricane though, where appropriate provisions and supports are possible and past experiences can help to prepare, how do you prepare for something Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous such as a worldwide pandemic? Imagine having your high school graduation and prom ripped away from you with little to no warning. Imagine being a 40+ year professor and being told that “you are now going to teach hybrid with some students in the class and some students online,” or imagine that you were accepted into the 2nd most prestigious Ph.D. program in the United States and dream of being a professor and look for those face-to-face mentoring opportunities on campus. This book addresses the lived experiences of many throughout the onset, duration, and the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and helps prepare readers for the never ending storm ahead.

Our book offers guidance from leaders from different walks of life. We visit with a pastor who had to “get creative” to combat the pandemic, examine how school board members have interacted with parents and other community stakeholders, hear from a current superintendent in a large school district in Maine, and other stakeholders impacted by COVID-19. Our message is cautious, yet optimistic, to prepare the reader for life in a VUCA world.

Origin and Definition of VUCA Environments, Chris J. Colwell. Wicked Problem Theory in a VUCA World, Lou L. Sabina. The Never-Ending Hurricane, Jim Tager. Leading Restorative, Connected Communities in VUCA Times, Joyce Mundy. The Lived Experiences of a Faculty Teaching in an Educational Leadership Graduate Program Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Debra Touchton. Coordinating Student Teachers’ Clinical Experiences in a COVID-19 VUCA Environment, D. Elise Gruber. It’s Hard to Be a Good School Board Member in a VUCA World, Maureen McClure. Instructional Leadership in a VUCA Environment, Teresa Rizzo. The Doctoral Experience in A VUCA World, Anna Peters. Graduating in a VUCA World: The Unknown Storms, Hunter Perez. The Great Commission in a VUCA World, Kevin James. Parenting in VUCA Times, Kim Short. “Everesting” in an Endless Storm, Jim Tager. About the Authors.