Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Leadership and Decision Making

Just finished a book by Malcolm Gladwell titled, "Blink." The general concept of the book is pretty fascinating. Gladwell talks about the process of making decisions and the concept of intuition. He challenges us to go with our "gut" in areas where we have expertise. The major insight i gleaned from the book is this, "knowledge does not necessarily lead to good leadership and decision making."

Gladwell writes, "we have virtually unlimited amounts of data at our fingertips at all times, and we're well versed in the arguments about the dangers of not knowing enough and not doing our homework. But what i have sensed is an enormous frustration with the unexpected costs of knowing too much, of being inundated with information. we have come to confuse information with understanding." later he writes, "the key to good decision making is not knowledge. it is understanding, we are swimming in the former. we are desperately lacking in the latter." (264, 265)

I was challenged by this quote. We must be careful not to assume that information merely leads to good judgment. Leaders must seek understanding in any given situation. Judgment takes into account the various facets of processing information and making decisions. When processing information ask questions, "where does this information come from?" (consider the source) "what do i see in this information?" "what principles are beneath this information?"

This is what is helping me today. i hope it helps as you make decisions this week.