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As 2011 nears an end, how are you feeling about 2012?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 160,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: As 2011 nears an end, how are you feeling about 2012?

  • Cautious. We’re not through the worst yet, and I’m apprehensive about 2012: 46%
  • Optimistic. Things aren’t perfect, but they’ll be better next year: 36%
  • Scared. Things haven’t hit bottom yet, and 2012 will be worse than 2011: 11%
  • Excited. We’re through the worst of things, and 2012 will be great: 7%

Caution still abounds. More than half of you are still cautious or scared about what 2012 holds. While there have been some encouraging signs, uncertainty about the economy — domestically and globally — conflict and political change
looms large. Your task as a leader is to set the direction for your organization, communicate the plan and act decisively in those uncertain waters. If your team sees your fear, members will only amplify it. Try to give them as much stability and direction as you can — the last thing you need is to add uncertainty to an already-ambiguous environment.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of “One Piece of Paper.”