I wonder how many new leaders become intimidated by the terms used by leadership teams that are simply abstractions. For example:

  • Strategy, which is an abstraction of decision making at a company level
  • Culture, an abstraction of the behavioural norms and connective strength of the companies people
  • Vision, an abstraction that captures the first and second order effects of everything a company is trying to do.
  • Operations, an abstraction that captures the way in which work happens - the people, processes and infrastructure in place to make things function.

Abstractions are useful when they simplify something complex to make it more understandable. But new leaders shouldn’t confuse the map for the territory, and make sure they understand the underlying systems that are being abstracted. Decision making in pure abstract terms can be very dangerous.