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In his new book, Good Boss, Bad Boss, Robert Sutton explains, “Wise bosses have the confidence to act on what they know and the humility to doubt their knowledge.”


It’s a myth that leaders clearly see both the future and the path to it. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. I’ll go so far as to say confidence without doubt is usually foolhardy and occasionally dangerous.

I find leading is less about certainty and more about letting go, learning, and courage than you might expect.

Confident-humility is the courage to pull the trigger and set plans in motion even when doubts remain. It lets go of the arrogant illusion that perfection is possible.

Confident-humility opens the mind to learning from mistakes and successes so that the next event or project is better than the previous one.

Confident-humility lets go of current plans in order to make course adjustments. Course adjustment is the norm not the exception for growing organizations.

Special note: course adjustment is about method, process, and procedure. On the other hand, values, mission, and vision remain points of stability in organizations destabilized by constant innovation and improvement.


If leaders “pull the trigger” even when doubts remain, how much certainty is enough?

What advice would you give leaders who struggle with pulling the trigger because they don’t have “enough” certainty?

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