Day 300: Thermostat or thermometer…

Emotions Move, Reason Calms.

When I read those 4 words all I could think of was the time we could spend studying this subject and still not scratch the surface! Following those 4 words is another big thought Chet offers, Leaders get comfortable with ambiguity,another words, leaders must have a High Tolerance for Ambiguity. This is a core competency that you see identified in many high-level leadership programs. I see this identified as a key competency in the hiring process of a key executives.  It certainly makes sense to me, if you do not possess this competency of a high tolerance for ambiguity, life can be difficult in a leader role. Let’s just focus on this one competency for a moment and see what it looks like when you break it down. Just a brief overview of what unskilled, skilled, and overused looks like.


  • Not comfortable with change or uncertainty
  • May prefer more data than others, and structure over uncertainty
  • Less efficient and productive under ambiguity
  • May like to do things the same way time after time


  • Can effectively cope with change
  • Can shift gears comfortably
  • Can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty
  • Does not get upset when things are up in the air, unclear


  • May move to conclusions without enough data
  • May undervalue orderly problem solving
  • May reject precedent and history 
  • May frustrate others by not getting specific enough

Now, just picture yourself in a meeting with a leader who demands data, lots of data, more data and when he is not satisfied with his need for data, you then see his emotional trigger, and he is screaming for more data! And all you hear about the leader is, paralysis by analysis, he won’t make a dang decision! Emotions move Reason calms

Now let’s go back to Chet’s writing again and focus on a couple of lines that will put a good wrap on this blog….

 “Leaders understand all decisions regardless the reason, data, and logic behind them are laced with emotion. Do you see why it’s impossible to lead another without deeply understanding yourself?”

We have a process at BTL for doing that kind of work, deep work! We call it…. 

Being Core Centered and Self-Controlling as opposed to Self-Centered and Other Controlling

You want to learn more about you? More about our process and building a strong core? Engage a BTL Builder, read the blog daily, pick up Chet’s book, 365 Daily Disciplines, read Triggers by Marshal Goldsmith, read The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, Mindset by Carol Dweck. No more lame excuses! I don’t have the money! I don’t have the time! What should I read? I don’t like to read, (all of them are on audio)! Can I really break these bad habits, these triggers? Only if you choose to and are willing to do the hard work of Core Building.

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