Acting on Intincts
Tam knows something; or, at the very least, he suspects significantly more than he lets on. Breaking tradition, he and Rand head for home on Winternight.
Tam nodded but did not stop. When he had made a complete circuit of the house, he did the same around the barn and the sheep pen, still studying the ground. He even checked the smokehouse and the curing shed. Drawing a bucket of water from the well, he filled a cupped hand, sniffed the water and gingerly touched it with the tip of his tongue.
The Eye of the World, p. 53
His actions extend beyond the norms for caution; a level of training that speaks of enhanced caution, and of lessons learned the hard way. He's got a very vague notion of the nature of his adversary, but he's still operating on instincts.
But if I am not taken by a black fancy, if our luck runs sour, maybe in the nect few days we'll be glad I tucked [the sword] in that old chest, instead.
Tam to Rand, The Eye of the World, p. 56
As we've mentioned previously, part of the art of leadership is the art of action; especially acting with minimal information. It's very easy to want to wait until more information becomes available. Let's look at Tam's decision to grab his old sword from his chest. In all liklihood, had he waited until more information became available, he would have died in the house trying to protect Rand. The next sequence of information after his "black fancy" was Trollocs breaking down the door. For those of us facing less bloodthirsty, sinister challenges, there is a fine line between acting and waiting, especially in this era of "Monday-morning quarterbacking." We make decisions with the information we have at hand; but oftentimes we get judged by the additional information that becomes available after the fact. Decisiveness and instincts can play a role in mitigating some of that harsh risk. Continually acting and evaluating those actions, adjusting with new decisions (recall Boyd's OODA Loop), allows the leader to fine tune the plan on the fly as new information becomes available. Action beats inaction, every time.