Do you know someone who has “risen without trace” — who is successful, yet you can’t work out why? When I was a callow consultant, my first project was for an Irish conglomerate that had a supermarket chain. The manager running it was something of a figure of fun, because he could never explain what he was doing — his discourse was long-winded and obscure. “Ah,” the group CEO said, when told that the manager had ended a strike, “he bored them back to work!” And yet, this inarticulate manager always made his numbers and they always went up. A large part of the difference between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs and executives is the ability to recognize the fractal patterns and to make decisions accordingly. If you have many years’ experience and track record in making good decisions in a particular industry and market, the chances are that you will continue to make good calls by recognizing patterns — as long as you stay in the same industry and market. Your decisions may be entirely intuitive. Good decisions do not require good justifications.