I’m a fan of obvious. I even did an entire post about why leaders need to make things obvious. Cool. Right? Yes. The reason I like obvious is because it is, well obvious. Not only that, it is way better and cooler than ambiguous.
In case you’re still not sure:
Ambiguity is an enemy to effective leadership. Leaders that aren’t clear about where they’re going aren’t likely to get many behind their cause.
When leaders allow ambiguity to be a part of the enterprise, in relation to steps that need to be taken now, they will cause the demise of their enterprises.
One of the ways ambiguity is allowed to reign is when leaders answer by giving options. They are presented a situation and think out loud about how they could address but don’t give specific actions. Teams are presented with options and still left hanging.
If you’re a “victim” of the many options response, it is wise to ask for a recap. Or simply play the “I just want to be sure I understood you, what’s the bottom line?” (Aka “I didn’t get what you said we must do. I heard the options but not the steps we ought to take”)
Ambiguity is to leaders and organizations what the kryptonite is to superman [Click to Tweet]
There were times I used to be that leader who thought out loud and gave implicit, indirect and unclear actions to my teams. When I did that, my teams only became aware that I could apply my mind to possibilities but were left not knowing what to do in those pressing times.
Ambiguity can make a competent team useless. It doesn’t matter how passionate or how capable your people are when they don’t know exactly what they should do.
Oh, I’ve also been that leader who says, “in a couple of days or weeks”. What on earth is that? Seriously. If you’ve been there the times I led like that, I’m sorry for the misery I caused you.
Ambiguity, for the roles of those you lead, doesn’t help them serve your cause the best they can [Click to Tweet]
Ambiguity is fruit of leaders avoiding or postponing making a decision. When leaders don’t want to or are reluctant to make a call, ambiguity is makes an appearance.
Leader, you’re not always going to have the assurances you like to have before you can make a decision. Sometimes you don’t need more information but to make a decision. Make a right decision or make your decision right. Just don’t linger in ambiguity.
Decisive leaders tend to be less ambiguous. They generally push to make a point. A clear one. Be one; a decisive leader.
[Photo Credit: Resio]