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Explicitly Vague in Leadership

In a client session, I found the phrase "explicitly vague."


I've had direct reports request, "Just tell us what you want us to do." My response has typically been, "I want us to reach the goal. There are almost certainly other great ways to get there aside from what I'm imagining."


Explicitly vague.


Setting the stage explicitly with the goal, parameters, resources, timeline, etc.


Being vague about exactly how to get to the goal, what specific steps to take, and who should do what when.


Being explicitly vague won't work in some situations. "I don't care how you do it, just make sure the patient has a new heart by the end of the surgery."


Being explicitly vague (where appropriate), will give employees the opportunity to utilize autonomy, creativity, and see themselves in the larger purpose.


When effectively leading teams, giving the opportunity for these experiences will positively impact engagement, satisfaction, and retention.


What is something that might be preventing you from being explicitly vague?



Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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