You can prototype a business vision very quickly in NOW time: Zoom from vision to reality with hypersonic Mach speed.

The impacts of steering a business from this kind of cockpit can be jarring. A person who enables a vision to be realized in this rapidly spinning world creates profound value. To realize it, enablement and facilitation demand a different kind of leadership intelligence than known before.

The great leaders of history – surrounded by loyal bands of analysts and wisemen – defined, charted and imposed a direction and a course for others to follow.

If you’re a leader today, check your job description: Today’s business leaders must be a different sort of smart.

In the old business world, the decisive emphasis was on information. The more a person knew gave the edge. Today simply knowing lots of information is no asset. In fact it can be a mammoth, crippling liability.

In NOW, the emphasis is on the ability to observe, discern and discriminate.

Being intelligently open and non-assertive is far more complex and demanding than it sounds.

Try an experiment. For thirty-seconds, close your eyes and shut yourself down. Try not to think of anything. Try not to recall any sensory experience. Don’t let a memory or an idea surface . . . or a sensation intrude. Try to absorb the world bombarding you in a neutral, non-reactive way.

You are an extremely rare and likely highly disciplined person if you can do this with your eyes closed.

Now try this very same exercise with your eyes open. You’ll find this next stage is even harder . . . far harder!

Observational capacity demands total concentration. Achieving that level of focus means not being pre-occupied, and that is much tougher than it sounds. It takes skill to observe without being swept into becoming a part of what you are witnessing.

Retailing legend Mickey Drexler, today Chairman and CEO of J. Crew Group, has already made a cameo appearance in these blogs. You’ll recall the catalyst for his merchandising genius at The Gap and elsewhere: Time and again he showed he didn’t have any memory. His forte is sizing up a merchandising challenge in a fresh light, often discovering clarity and opportunity where others wallow in confusion.

The new measure of smart is moving from fear to trusting ourselves and our inner intelligence. The foremost rule of the road in the fast lane of NOW is not to stand in the way of your instinctive brain within.