Leaders always act based on partial information. The challenge is knowing when to act and when to wait on more detail. Were that not enough, information tends to go down in proportion to the potential unwanted consequences of the decision or choice. The more potential there is for bad outcomes, the less well-informed the leader is likely to be. In these situations, successful leaders tend to act too quickly and less successful leaders tend to get bogged down in the details and postpone action indefinitely.
Understanding these facts of leadership, Attend to the details without getting bogged down in them. If you are apt to act too quickly, slow down and assimilate more detail. If instead, you are apt to obsess over the details, take a deep breath and act. Either way, you may want to use a proactive leader’s secret technique. He sets a specific, future time to decide. This forces him to consider more detail and to get more input. It also forces a closure to input and an end point for attending to detail. When the time comes to decide, he decides. As a wise and experienced leader put it, When the bell rings, you just jump on the bull and hope you can hang on.