“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome’. You must be willing to fire.”

Boone Pickens


Several studies indicate that most successful CEO’s make decisions intuitively. Why? Because it is impossible to get all the facts. And when you wait and wait for more information, until you are more sure or think you have enough facts, the situation will have changed and the decision is no longer relevant.

Therefore a keen emotional sense and an emotional groundedness coupled with intellectual acuity and business acumen is crucial for good, timely decision-making that lead to success.

This is what authenticity and insight are about. Authenticity is the combination of transparency, vulnerability and a personal composure that characterises one who inspires both trust and credibility in others. Insight is born of clarity of vision, the ability to filter extraneous information to sense a way through to a better future, it is about intuition and the courage of conviction to both articulate it and go for it.

Such leadership has been strongly linked with increased employee engagement, customer satisfaction and bottom line.

Try this experiment to build authenticity and insight:

  1. In your next meeting or discussion with your team, ask these questions:
  • How would you define the issue or the situation in one sentence?
  • What would you do if you were me?
  1. Then listen carefully without interrupting or reading in too much from your own perceptions. As you listen, allow the common or major themes to emerge.
  1. Finally, summarise the main issues and distill the all-important next step to take.