Gerrie Dresser, PCC
The Executive / Personal Brand Coach for
Courageous Leaders and Innovative Companies
to . . .
Maximize their distinctive value and deliver
strategic impact through an engaged team
Courageous Leader . . .
Embrace Your Value. Lead from the Front.”
A Personal Note from Gerrie
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with
complex and confusing data that your decision defaulted to what you already
know rather than factoring in new assumptions?
For example, let’s say you’re driving down the road and you hear a NEW noise
coming from the engine of your car. You’re rushing to a business meeting
that you’re leading. The top agenda item is a critical decision about the
direction of a high priority project.
- Do you pay attention to the NEW car
noise or minimize its importance and figure that you’ll have time after
work to handle it?
- How does it change the scenario if
your three children are all sitting in the back seat of the car?
According to Paul Schoemaker, executive
chairman for Decision Strategies International, your decision whether to
stop and get your car checked or wait until after work to get it checked is
often based on your current beliefs and expectations rather than considering
- Did you just get your car inspected
the day before and you trust your mechanic to have checked for any major
current or potential problems?
- Are you stuck in a traffic jam, and
can’t possibly get to a service station anyway?
- Do you decide to call your mechanic
and get another perspective from the expert?
- Can you call ahead to the office to
arrange a back up plan?
- Is your children’s school just a
Ambiguity is rampant in our personal lives
and in our professional lives, especially in today’s fast paced business
world with companies restructuring, merging with other companies, and
launching innovative products. Sometimes, they collide or intersect like in
the above scenario.
Strategic leaders are those who take time to quickly synthesize and
interpret complex data and embrace ambiguity. To gain access to key
behaviors that will uplevel your strategic leadership, read our Featured
Articles, “5 Keys to Embrace Ambiguity and Question Assumptions . . . while
building high trust in your team.”
Celebrate Your Distinctive Impact in the World!
Executive l Personal Brand Coach
Who helps courageous leaders
Accelerate GROWTH through
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From small, intimate groups to major corporate events, our high content –
high energy - high value events - are custom
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happens and sticks. Each participant is motivated to face challenges head on and
step up to more courageous leadership!
|Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (www.HBAnet.org),
Greater Philadelphia Chapter
||Shire Pharmaceutical, Chesterbrook, PA
||Thursday, September 18, 2014: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
|Jeff Conklin: Senior Vice President,
Worldwide Global Commercial Operations, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Marianne Jackson: Senior Vice President, Global Commercial
Operations, Shire Pharmaceuticals
Abigail Jenkins: Head of Market Access / Executive Director,
Relypsa; Immediate Past President, HBA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
David Nicoli: Senior Public Affairs Executive / Consultant,
Board Member & Lawyer in Life Sciences, Consumer Products &
CEO of Unique Impact, is a nationally-acclaimed speaker, known for her dynamic
delivery of high content, high energy, and high value presentations laced with
real world examples and “how to” strategies for immediately actionable outcomes.
To learn more
about Gerrie’s speaking and make a referral to your organization, click on
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“5 Keys to Embrace Ambiguity and Question Assumptions
. . . while building high trust in your team”
The most extraordinary strategic leaders are those who create a sense
of possibility, even during daunting challenges. This often results in a
business breakthrough into new markets, a more innovative direction or a
higher performing team.
However, these breakthroughs only happen with an open mindset and
questioning old beliefs and assumptions to reach the right decision.
It’s a combination of art and science for a leader to elicit complex and
conflicting information without meeting resistance when everyone else is
moving at breakneck speed and want to make a decision yesterday.
Many leaders are torn, though, because they are positively recognized
for being decisive. Yet moving too quickly could result in
misinterpreting complex data with a negative business impact.
For example, if your market intelligence group reports that your
competitor dropped its prices, what would your assumptions be?
- Your competitor will gain market share OR will they
lose market share?
- Lowered prices means your competitor is having financial
problems OR did the company streamline the manufacturing process
that lowered production costs?
- The competitor’s brand will be devalued OR will its brand
be more highly recognized for their high value at lower cost?
Would you agree that these assumptions need to be interpreted against
By mastering the key skill of strategic interpretation, you’ll
recognize patterns, embrace ambiguity, and seek new perspectives on
critical decisions. Thus, avoiding potentially disastrous
5 Keys to Embrace Ambiguity and Accelerate Strategic Decision Making
1. Invite perspectives from diverse stakeholders … 3 is the magic
- List at least 3 possible scenarios that are distinctive from
what you observe.
2. Zoom in and out … from details to big picture
- Practice divergent and convergent thinking to ensure you analyze
the specifics and envision the big picture.
3. Gather evidence that disconfirms your beliefs or hypothesis.
- Invite perspectives from customers, suppliers, and partners.
Acknowledge any discrepancies to existing beliefs or unexpected
4. Supplement your assumptions with quantitative analysis.
- This could be the positive game changer for your company to get
ahead of the curve.
5. Promote an open mind that fosters innovative thinking.
- Be willing to be part of the change so your team feels more
assured as you move into new territory. Timing is everything . . .
know when to wait and when to move forward.
Your Coaching Challenge:
In the month ahead, hold steady when you’re faced with ambiguity and
apply the ‘5 Keys to Embrace Ambiguity’ listed above:
- What type of data is available
for you to synthesize and identify unexpected patterns?
- What has worked for you to reduce
resistance and shift assumptions? Now, test those practices in a new
- What part can you play in helping
your team or peers to embrace new ideas or new ways of doing
Reference: Strategic Leadership:
The Essential Skills
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Unique Impact™ Coaching
Coaching is a confidential partnership between you, the
Client, and your Coach to help you achieve your next level of success faster
and with greater focus and clarity. Some of the benefits include . . .
- Positions you as a more influential leader
- Earn the respect and trust of other leaders across
all functional areas
- Other leaders easily recognize what's different,
relevant and unique about you
- Create loyal ‘brand advocates’ who endorse you
- Helps you forge collaborative partnerships across the
- You are sought out to lead high visibility, highly
leveraged and credible projects
Gerrie Dresser is an ICF
credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative
executive l personal brand coach and thought leader.
If you’re ready to step into a bigger game for your work / life, contact
Gerrie for a complimentary Unique Impact Strategic Consultation at
For more information about Gerrie:
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