top of page

Describing the indescribable

How comfortable are you with ambiguity?

Ambiguity is lack of clarity.

And for most of us, it is inherently uncomfortable!

Leaders face complex decisions every day – often with incomplete or imperfect information – the definition of ambiguity! If you ask any executive with experience, they may have a hard time telling you just exactly how they can excel in this context.

Intuitive decision making comes from a little considered element called tacit knowledge. A leader who can apply tacit knowledge along with what is well known and easy to describe - explicit knowledge - brings a new level of clarity to a team.

Have you ever taught a child to ride a bike, skateboard, or use roller skates? If you have to describe the exact ability, thoughts, and physical reactions it takes to make these activities a reality, you – and the child - would fall every time. But with a little guidance from those who can demonstrate it, a willingness to try and fail, and a strong guiding hand holding on and letting go at the right time – all that is left is to take the leap of confidence and peddle the bike, push the pavement, or put one skate in front of the other.

Each assignment you work on, each project you volunteer to lead, and each report you complete adds to the knowledge banks of your abilities.

That often gets labeled a gut reaction. But you have a pretty smart gut!

Make the decision. Test the assumptions. Use the stockpile of knowledge, experience, and emotions to engage your intuitive decisioning making.

And try to make the indescribable known through the following steps.

  1. Define the correct problem.

  2. Identify the critical success factors.

  3. Create a solution set and narrative for understanding it and sharing with others.

  4. Engage the right people.

  5. Take action with unified series of decisions.

Life is a series of decisions. String together a series of great decisions and it leads to real solutions.


Elegant Leather Cases_edited.jpg

Thoughts from the field

Business, strategy, leadership, and more.

Post Archive 


bottom of page