Sfumato…

Sfumato, an Italian word, when translated to English means “soft, vague, or blurred.” Sfumato is derived from “Fumo” (smoke,fume). According to Leonardo da Vinci, sfumato is a crucial ingredient to genius. He used this technique in his most famous painting, Mona Lisa, but to him sfumato was more than a blurring of the lines on his creative canvases. Sfumato was something he embraced in work and life. You see, Leonardo knew that ambiguity was ever present. You know this as well. Very rarely, in life, are the moments of truth, crucial conversations, or critical decisions we face, seen with 20/20 clarity. At best, we see the big picture somewhat clearly but the details, many times, are but a blur. Leaders, understand this truth.

Leaders embrace ambiguity. Normal humans hesitate. Leaders choose action. Normal humans let anxiety stop them in their tracks. Sfumato is not going away tomorrow. Seems, the more data analytics we deliver, the more anxious we are becoming that there must be one more proof before we can act with confidence. Genius comes when we practice curiosity, test our theories, engage all our senses, embrace ambiguity, and make decisions while normal teams hesitate.

Embrace sfumato, friend. You and your team just got better. Good…

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