November 28, 2012

Making the Right Decision

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book entitled Blink which begins with a story about an art gallery that is offered what appears to be authentic paintings. The curator suspects the pieces might be forgeries but he's then filled with hope that he's wrong. To be safe, he hires appraisal experts to make their recommendations.

They confirmed authenticity and the gallery purchased the pieces which turned out to be fakes. The curator wanted the pieces to be real even with doubt in his mind. And he may have convinced the experts to ignore their doubts as well.

The Gut Complex

We have the chance everyday to make a quick decision or belabor for a potentially better outcome. That is why we spend endless hours in meetings pondering the pros and cons of every decision. It’s the reason economic realities cloud our judgement. It’s at the base of demands from prospective customers and clients for positive results before the work begins. Return is expected before investment.

Leadership is about making decisions and producing results but every move we make is a risk. There are no guarantees. But if we always wait for the perfect time to do anything, it will never arrive. That doesn't mean we buy fake art or ignore our instincts but the guarantee we seek can be a fabrication we have created for the sole purpose of not making the call.

Some decisions take time and care, but if we blink, we may miss the opportunity entirely.

Kneale Mann

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