I published paper in Leadership. I wrote this paper while living in Gothenburg and in California and wondering what to do next after having quit my job as a manager in the UPS. After a few revisions it got selected for publication, and I was asked to write a short biography. In the biography wrote that I was looking for a place to do a PhD in the topic I had written the paper on. The day after I got a mail from one of the editors of the journal, Donna Ladkin, suggesting that I apply for a PhD at Cranfield School of Management and that she would be my supervisor.
In this article I explore the idea that leadership as art is characterized by leaders staying with their senses, rather than drawing on yesterday’s sense-making, and by sense-making being received through the senses rather than produced through an analytical process. Two simple models illustrating these opposing processes are suggested, showing how drawing sense-making from present sensing allows for greater flexibility in the assumptions we base our decisions on, and that this process cannot be done by using our conceptual mind. Key elements in this exploration are the distinction between sense-making and describing sense-making, and placing sensing at the centre of sense-making. I compare leaders to conceptual artists due to similarities in the mediums with which they work, and I discuss some practical implications for leadership.