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Wise Decision Maker Movement Manifesto

15 min read
Photo of author giving speech on how to be a wise decision maker

You Shouldn’t Trust Your Gut as a Decision Maker: Here’s Why

 

The biggest falsehood in business leadership and career advice may also be the most repeated: “go with your gut.” Surely you heard this advice often, as well as some variations of that phrase, such as “trust your instincts,” “be authentic,” “listen to your heart,” or “follow your intuition” as a decision maker.

 

If you enjoy video, here’s a videocast based on this blog:

 

 

And if you like audio, here’s a podcast based on the blog:

 

 

Or simply read onward!

 

I’m deeply frustrated, saddened, and angered when I see highly profitable companies, top-notch careers, and great business relationships devastated because someone bought into the toxic advice of going with their gut. When someone returns home from some guru’s fire-walking seminar and starts to behave like their “authentic self” they are simply shooting themselves – and their business – in the foot.

 

Our authentic selves are adapted for the ancient savanna, not the modern business world. Following our intuitions can lead to terrible decisions in today’s professional environment. For the sake of our bottom lines, we need to avoid following our primitive instincts and instead be civilized about how we address the inherently flawed nature of our minds.

 

Think about these questions:

 

  • What percent of projects in your company suffer from cost overruns? 
  • When was the last time a leader in your company resisted needed changes? 
  • How often are people in your team overconfident about the quality of their decisions? 
  • What proportion of plans in your workplace overemphasizes smaller short-term gains over larger long-term ones? 
  • How frequently do your people express reluctance to have difficult conversations over potentially serious issues? 

All of these and many other problems come from following our gut reactions. 

 

Any of these mistakes, if repeated frequently enough, can and do result in disasters for successful companies and bring down high-flying careers, especially when facing smart competitors who educate themselves on how to avoid such problems. By contrast, if you’re the one to learn about and defend yourself from these errors, you can take advantage of rivals who go with their guts and make devastating mistakes, enabling you to gain a serious competitive edge.

 

Business Strategic Assessments Are Deeply Flawed

 

Tragically, current business strategic assessments meant to address the weaknesses of human nature through structures and planning are themselves deeply flawed. Take the most popular of them, SWOT, where a group of business leaders tries to figure out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing their business. SWOT assessments usually fail to account for the dangerous judgment errors we make due to how our brains are wired. 

 

It’s particularly problematic that SWOT is almost always performed in a group setting, and mental blindspots are often exponentially increased in group settings. One particularly large problem is known as groupthink, where groups tend to coalesce around the opinions of a powerful leader.

 

SWOT and similar strategic assessments give a false sense of comfort and security to business leaders who use them. These comforting techniques result in appalling oversights that ruin profitable businesses.

 

Sports is Ahead of Business

 

Surprisingly, sports such as baseball have pulled ahead of the vast majority of business in recognizing the value of avoiding gut reactions, as popularized by the 2011 film Moneyball. The movie shows the 2002 season of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, which had a very limited budget for players that year. Its general manager, Billy Beane, adopted a very unorthodox approach. He relied on quantitative data and statistics to choose players, rather than the traditional method of trusting the intuitions of the team’s scouts. 

 

In other words, he used his head rather than his gut. He hired a series of players undervalued by all other teams that were using old-school evaluation methods. As a result, the Oakland Athletics won a record-breaking 20 games in a row. 

 

Other teams have since adopted the same approach. Statistics are increasingly dominant over gut reactions in decision-making on players, as well as what plays to make. Reliance on quantitative data has been growing in popularity in baseball and other sports as well. For example, punting in football is increasingly going out of style because of evidence-based approaches showing that statistically speaking, punting is a bad idea, despite gut reactions suggesting that punting works well.

 

How much would you give to introduce a similarly revolutionary innovation in your business that rewards you with record-breaking growth 20 quarters in a row? You’ll score a home run by avoiding trusting your gut and going with your head instead.

 

Why Do You Always Hear “Follow Your Gut”?

 

If our intuitions are such a bad match for the modern world, why is the advice to “go with your gut” so widespread? Because trusting our instincts feels naturally comfortable to us. We tend to choose what’s comfortable rather than what’s true or good for us, even in the face of very strong evidence suggesting otherwise. 

 

Sadly, gurus who tell people what they want to hear and what makes them comfortable get paid the big bucks, while experts who speak uncomfortable truths usually get ignored. What would you intuitively rather hear: someone describing delicious, delightful, delectable dozen donuts or someone sharing about how to maintain your physical fitness? 

 

Can’t you just imagine those dozen donuts: chocolate glazed, Boston Creme, strawberry jelly, custard, chocolate sprinkles, lemon creme? Yum! I’m making myself hungry. Better get some donuts.

Donuts - the food of a wise decision maker (just kidding!)

Ok, I’m done. Back to the manifesto.

 

“Go with your gut” is the equivalent of the dozen donuts dessert of business advice. 

 

Sure, the box of dozen donuts contain more calories than we should eat in a whole day. However, our gut wants the donuts instead of the healthy but less intuitively appealing fruit platter of not going with our intuitions. The choice that is most appealing to your gut is often the worst decision for your bottom line, just like the donuts are much more intuitively desirable than a fruit tray, but are the worst choice for your waistline.

 

Too often, we choose an attractive dessert (or a business option) that we later regret (myself included).

 

In the ancient savanna, it was critical for us to eat as much sugar as possible to survive. Our gut reactions still pull us to do so, despite the harm caused by eating too many donuts in our modern environment. 

 

Simply knowing about it is unfortunately insufficient protection. I’ll honestly admit that, although I’ve definitely gotten much better at making wiser decisions – in my eating, business, and other life areas – using science-based decision-making strategies, cheesecake is still my Achilles heel.

 

At its core, making a business decision based on gut reactions comes from the same impulse as eating donuts instead of fruit. Unfortunately, bad business decisions might have much more devastating consequences than eating a donut. 

 

Fortunately, we have extensive research-based public messages about the need to restrain our instincts around eating for the sake of our personal health. Yet we have only recently begun discovering and popularizing research on managing our intuitions around business decision-making to ensure the health of our businesses and our careers.

 

But I Make Good Gut Decisions!

 

At this point you might be telling yourself that you’ve had a lot of success following your gut in making good decisions. Unfortunately, the term “gut reaction” is used very broadly in business contexts to refer to all sorts of internal impulses. This excessively fuzzy concept spans both very useful and trustworthy habits you’ve developed for making quality decisions on the job, as well as those dangerous intuitions and instincts from our ancestral savanna heritage. 

 

For example, you might have learned the counterintuitive behaviors of delegating tasks effectively and avoiding micromanaging as a leader. Perhaps you can glance quickly at a department’s profit and loss statement and recognize what needs to be addressed. Maybe you can hear a sales pitch and immediately evaluate whether it’s a good fit for your needs.

 

Your decisions in these areas might be quick, intuitive, and very accurate. You may feel like you’re going with your gut. However, all of these correct choices come from acquired skills. You had to learn to do the right thing rather than simply trust your instincts, just like you learned to drive a car. You can now do so automatically, making good decisions on the road. 

 

You wouldn’t let someone drive without taking a course and passing a license exam, would you? Yet business leaders don’t go through a decision-making course to get a “decision-making license” before gaining positions of authority as decision makers. They simply observe other leaders making decisions and learn on the job, following both good and bad examples and relying on their instincts.

 

Sadly, our minds can’t tell the difference between our natural, primitive, and often dangerous instincts and our learned, civilized, and effective decision-making impulses. It can feel just as intuitive and comfortable to grab another donut as to decide which sales pitch to consider and which to ignore. 

 

That’s why business leaders should never simply trust their instincts and intuitions and go with their gut. Instead, you should evaluate whether this internal impulse comes from a place of extensive experience where you learned to make decisions that turned out to be correct the large majority of the time; if so, trust that instinct. If it comes from elsewhere – such as “this just doesn’t feel right” or “this just feels right” – the gut reaction might be one of the many dangerous judgment errors we all make as human beings. Verify with your head whether this gut reaction points to an actual business threat or opportunity, instead of simply going with your heart and following your instincts on a business decision.

 

Even in cases where you think you can rely on your intuition, it’s best to use your instincts as just a warning sign of potential danger and evaluate the situation analytically. For example, the person with whom you have a long business relationship might have just gotten some bad news about their family, and their demeanor caused your instincts to misread the situation. 

 

What about market changes? One of the biggest problems that brings down successful companies and careers is failing to notice important shifts in market conditions. In those cases, your extensive experience in the market is actually really, really bad. You’ll find yourself applying old, trusted intuitions in a different environment, like a fish out of water. It will cause you to miss crucial new threats and profitable opportunities and may bring you ruin as more nimble competitors – either other companies or younger professionals – adapt to the changes much quicker. 

 

How We Really Think (and Feel)

 

Researchers have discovered that we have, roughly speaking, two systems that determine our mental processes. It’s not the old Freudian model of the id, the ego, and the superego, which studies show to be outdated. These two systems have various names: System 1 and 2, fast thinking and slow thinking, the low road and the high road. For my money, “autopilot system” and “intentional system” describe them most clearly. 

 

The autopilot system corresponds to our emotions and intuitions. This system evolved to help us survive in the ancestral savanna environment and mostly relies on the amygdala, the older part of the brain. It guides our daily habits, helps us make snap decisions, and reacts instantly to dangerous life-and-death situations. 

 

The snap judgments resulting from intuitions and emotions usually feel “true” and “right” precisely because they are fast and powerful. We feel very comfortable when we go with them. Decisions arising from our gut reactions are indeed often right in those situations that resemble the ancient savanna. 

 

Unfortunately, in too many cases they’re wrong. Our modern environment – in business and other life areas – have many elements that are unlike the savanna. With growing technological disruption, ranging from teleconferences to social media, the office of the future will look even less like our ancestral environment. The autopilot system will therefore increasingly lead us to make disastrous decisions, in systematic and predictable ways.

 

The intentional system, by contrast, reflects rational and analytical thinking. It centers around the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that evolved more recently. This thinking system helps us handle more complex mental activities, such as managing individual and group relationships, logical reasoning, abstract thinking, evaluating probabilities, and learning new information, skills, and habits.

 

While the automatic system requires no conscious effort to function, using the intentional system requires a deliberate effort to and is mentally tiring. Fortunately, with enough motivation and appropriate training, you can learn to turn on the intentional system in situations where the autopilot system is prone to make systematic and predictable errors.

 

Here’s a quick visual comparison of the two systems:

 

Autopilot System

Intentional System

●       Fast, intuitive, emotional self

●       Requires no effort

●       Automatic thinking, feeling, and behavior habits

●       Mostly makes good decisions, but is prone to some predictable and systematic errors

●       Conscious, reasoning, mindful self

●       Takes intentional effort to turn on & drains mental energy

●       Used mainly when we learn new information, and use reason and logic

●       Can be trained to turn on when it detects Autopilot System making errors

We tend to think of ourselves as rational thinkers, usually using the intentional system. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. 

 

The autopilot system is by far the more powerful of the two systems, determining 80-90 percent of what we do, think, feel, and decide. 

 

Our emotions often overwhelm our reason. Moreover, our intuition and habits dominate the majority of our lives. We’re usually in autopilot mode. 

 

That’s not a bad thing at all, as it would be mentally exhausting to think through our every action and decision. However, it’s bad when this system makes the same errors, again and again. 

 

Fortunately, you can use your intentional system to interrupt these errors. You can change your automatic thinking, feeling, and behavior patterns to avoid mental blindspots.

 

It’s crucial to recognize that these two systems of thinking are counterintuitive. They don’t align with our conscious self-perception. 

 

Your mind feels like a cohesive whole. Unfortunately, this self-perception is simply a comfortable myth that helps you make it through the day. There is no actual “there” there; your sense of self is a construct that results from multiple complex mental processes within the autopilot and intentional system.

 

When I first found that out, it blew my mind (every part of it). It takes a bit of time to incorporate this realization into your mental model of yourself and others, in other words how you perceive your mind to work. Bottom-line is that you’re not who you think you are. 

 

The Art and Science of Avoiding Dangerous Judgment Errors

 

Studies from behavioral economics, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and related fields reveal the many types of dangerous judgment errors – what scholars term cognitive biases – that we make in business and other areas. 

 

Many of these systematic and predictable judgment errors come from our evolutionary heritage. They helped us survive in the savanna environment, such as overreacting to the presence of a perceived threat. It proved more helpful for our survival to jump at 100 shadows than fail to jump at one saber-toothed tiger. 

 

We are the descendants of those people evolutionarily selected for jumping at shadows. Of course, most cognitive biases do not serve us well in our modern environment, just like many mental habits we learned as children don’t serve us well as adults. Yet, we still retain many of these comforting habits, even if they harm us now.

 

Other reasons for cognitive biases result from inherent limitations in our mental processing capacities, such as our difficulty keeping track of many varied data points. This challenge results in formulas usually outperforming experts in typical situations, such as evaluating the credit worthiness of loan applicants. The best systems combine formulas for typical situations with expert analysis of outliers. 

 

Most cognitive biases result from mistakes made by going with our gut reactions, meaning autopilot system errors. More rarely, cognitive biases are associated with intentional system errors.

 

Do you know someone who believes they don’t make errors? That belief is in itself one of the most dangerous cognitive biases, called the bias blind spot, which tends to impact successful people the most. As the Bible says in Proverbs 16:18, “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

 

Most importantly, the last few years have witnessed cutting-edge findings in debiasing – the practice of reducing or eliminating cognitive biases – that provide us with many new techniques to address dangerous judgment errors in our professional lives.

 

However, popularizing this research is very difficult, at least in business contexts. 

 

Unscrupulous actors in the food industry are trying to feed us as many empty calories as they can for the sake of profit despite the tragic consequences to our health, and oppose health research showing the dangers of eating such unhealthy food. Similarly, some very powerful business gurus have built their careers out of claims that we should follow our gut regardless of the catastrophic consequences to our profits. Fearing for their own livelihoods, they rail against any hint of hard-nosed research-based business advice about distrusting our intuitions.

 

I hope you’d fire your personal trainer if they told you to eat a box of donuts instead of fruit. Sadly, no business consultant, coach, speaker, author, or other expert is currently afraid of being fired for telling you to follow your gut.

 

Research shows that in 46 percent of the 423 US companies with assets of over $500 million that filed for bankruptcy between 1981 and 2007, the causes of the bankruptcy could have been completely avoided if the leaders had made wiser judgments (read: where the leaders did not follow their guts). In many of the remaining 53 percent, better decisions would have substantially reduced the problems and likely prevented bankruptcy. 

 

That applies even more so to small and mid-size businesses, which have fewer resources and thus less room for errors and whose leadership teams have less experience. Indeed, about half of all new businesses close their doors in five years. Such closures stem largely from judgment errors by their founders. Isn’t it terrible that poor strategic leadership decision-making is responsible for so many business disasters, yet neither these leaders nor their followers received professional development in making decisions, despite the abundance of evidence that it’s easy to improve one’s judgment skills?

 

That’s why I wrote Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters. The book provides extensive evidence for all the points I made above, combining cognitive neuroscience and behavioral economics with pragmatic business case studies drawn from my experience of over 20 years consulting, coaching, speaking, and training leaders on avoiding disasters and maximizing success by making the best decisions. I researched this topic for over 15 years in academia, including as a professor in Ohio State University’s Decision Sciences Collaborative, and before that as a Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Eventually, I shifted away from academia to devote my full-time efforts to empowering business leaders to avoid disasters as a best-selling author and CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts

 

Besides my concern with the disastrous impact of cognitive biases in business, I also seek to help people address cognitive biases in other aspects of their lives. Thus, I wrote The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide, on defeating dangerous judgment errors in all life areas. In addition, I authored The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships, specifically focusing on addressing these mental blindspots in professional and personal relationships. 

 

Why I Care

 

My deep passion about this topic, as well as a streak of determination (some might say stubbornness) makes me willing to be a maverick and take on entrenched interests in pushing for a counterintuitive, research-based, data-driven paradigm shift to improve business health. This passion is personal.

 

As a kid, my dad told me with utmost conviction and absolutely no reservation to “go with your gut.” I ended up making some really bad decisions in my professional activities, for instance wasting several years of my life pursuing a medical career. I also watched him make some terrible choices that gravely harmed my family as he followed his gut, such as hiding some of his salary from my mom for several years. After she discovered this and several other financial secrets he kept, her trust in him was broken, which was one of the major factors leading to their later prolonged separation; fortunately, they eventually reconciled, but the lack of trust can never be fully repaired.

 

My conviction that the omnipresent advice to “follow your gut” was hollow grew only stronger as I came of age during the dotcom boom and bust and the fraudulent accounting scandals around the turn of the millennium. Seeing prominent business leaders blow through hundreds of millions in online-based businesses without effective revenue streams – Webvan, Boo.com, Pets.com – was sobering, especially as I saw the hype that convinced investors to follow their intuitions and put all that money into dotcoms. 

 

Likewise, it seemed almost unreal to learn at around the same time of how the top executives of Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom used illegal accounting practices to scam investors after their companies lost a lot of money as part of the dotcom bust. Most business leaders behaved ethically and admitted their losses honestly, but these leaders chose the path of lies. 

 

They surely knew that their crimes would inevitably be discovered eventually, leading to ruined reputations and long jail sentences. The best explanation for their seemingly irrational behavior comes from their willingness to follow their gut, to forgo rational thinking for short-term but ultimately hollow rewards – the box of donuts. 

 

It’s not like they needed the money, they had plenty already. They used money mainly to keep score and improve their social status. Their increasingly-desperate lies and corrupt financial machinations stemmed from their fear of being seen as failures in the eyes of their peers. 

 

From my intimate conversations with business leaders who I coached and for whom I consulted, I know that this fear is one of their most powerful drivers. Many of them have their identity and sense of social status deeply invested into being winners in the world of business. Being seen as losers – even if they retained a very comfortable sum of money in their bank account – would be an intolerable blow to their sense of self. 

 

Have you ever felt that way? Can you empathize with them? What would it be like for you if your peers saw you as a loser? 

 

Imagine their side glances when they think you’re not looking, what they would say about you behind your back, how they are shaking their head when they think about how great you used to be and how far you fell. Can you imagine yourself doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do to prevent that situation?

 

This drive to win stems from the ancestral savanna instinct to climb to the top of the tribal social hierarchy and remains one of our most potent motivators. It does much good when harnessed to positive social outcomes, but has the potential to cause a great deal of damage, as with the case of the accounting scandals and consequent bankruptcies.

 

It was really depressing for me to read the accounts of employees, stockholders, and communities devastated by these events. I was particularly upset by cases such as Enron, where the corporate leaders encouraged their employees to buy stocks while themselves selling shares as the company danced on the brink of disaster. 

 

As someone with an ethical code of utilitarianism – desiring the most good for the greatest number – I felt a calling to reduce suffering and improve well-being through helping leaders avoid dangerous judgment errors. I recognized that by reaching leaders, I bring a great deal of value through the impact these leaders make on others. That’s why I decided to dedicate my life to empowering leaders to fight mental blindspots and make the best decisions possible, for the sake of themselves, their organizations, and our society as a whole.

 

How to Prevent Business Disasters in the Workplace

 

So how do you defeat these dangerous judgment errors? 

 

First, you need to evaluate where and how they may be harming you, your team, and your organization. By seeing the pain they are causing you, and getting others to see this pain, you will both know what specific problem areas to focus on and how many resources to invest into fighting cognitive biases. 

 

The next easy step is to adapt structured decision-making processes for making quick day-to-day choices, for moderately important ones, and for major and/or complex decisions. You’ll also benefit greatly from using a structured process to avoid failure and maximize success when you implement significant decisions. Another technique you’ll need is an effective method of planning your strategy for the next several months or years that doesn’t suffer from the typical problems of SWOT and other strategic assessment and planning tools. It’s very simple to make a decision – by yourself, together with your team, or on an organizational level – to integrate these methods into all of your decisions. 

 

These structured decision-making and decision-implementing methods are critical to protecting you and your team from decision disasters when you have time to use them and recognize their necessity. However, you – and they – also need to develop mastery in the 12 mental skills of defeating cognitive biases. These abilities will enable you to:

  • Predict when you or someone else might fall for cognitive biases and prevent that problem from happening
  • Recognize immediately when dangerous judgment errors are undermining the situation at hand, even if you didn’t predict it beforehand
  • Take effective steps in the moment, even when you don’t have time to use even the most brief structured decision-making process, to protect yourself or others from these biases
  • Teach others how to protect themselves from mental blindspots

By combining the assessment, the structured decision-making and implementation, and the 12 mental skills, you’ll optimize your ability to win over dangerous judgment errors in business. For over twenty years, my consulting and coaching clients – from Fortune 500 companies to midsize businesses and nonprofits – benefited greatly from these and other strategies described in this book. Now, you can do so as well, and join the wise decision maker movement.

 

Conclusion: Join the Wise Decision Maker Movement

 

Many high-flying professionals – including top business leaders – flinch away from learning about dangerous judgment errors because doing so can be hard and unpleasant. It’s counterintuitive and takes them outside the comfort zone of going with their gut. It goes against the typical structures and incentives in teams and organizations that usually favor trusting intuition and being authentic.

 

Moreover, many – not all – of the most successful leaders and professionals believe themselves to be perfect decision makers. After all, they’ve succeeded so far!

 

Unfortunately, the greatest disasters happen to those who have previously been most successful. Such tragedies usually occur because these successful people continue to use what worked for them in the past in new contexts where previous methods no longer apply. 

 

Another common problem for them involves getting cut off from previous trusted sources of key information as they advance in their careers, resulting in more and more distortions that result in worse and worse judgments. This tendency helps explain the many examples of highly competent and successful business leaders who steered their companies and careers into destruction.

 

If you learn about these judgment errors, and especially take the necessary steps to address them, you’re in a vastly privileged position compared to these business leaders and any other professionals not aware of the dangers of typical judgment errors in the workplace. If you and your organization can avoid even a fraction of the dangerous judgment errors which cause us decision disasters because we’re adapted for the ancient savanna and not the modern businesses environment, you’ve set yourself on the path to success. 

 

You’ll greatly reduce suffering not only for yourself, but also those around you if you choose to share these strategies with those professional colleagues you care about. So please spread this paradigm shift to your team and professional contact network, at least those you don’t want to see suffer from business disasters. 

 

My personal code of ethics – minimizing suffering and improving well-being – impels me to spread this message as widely as possible. I invite you to join me in doing so, in a movement of fellow decision makers who aspire to make the wisest possible decisions and help others who matter to them do so as well. That’s what the wise decision maker movement is all about. 

 

You’ll find that some of those you try to help are resistant at first, due to the unfortunate advice of prominent business gurus who encourage their followers to trust their guts. Keep at it, demonstrating why savanna-adapted intuitions are a horrible guide for the modern business environment. You can be confident they will thank you for your persistence eventually.

 

Let me be clear: like a broken clock that’s right twice a day, gut reactions will sometimes be right. However, you should never go with your gut, due to the overwhelming number of scenarios where it misfires in the current business environment.

 

If you feel uncomfortable with a situation, don’t just rely on your instincts and go with your autopilot system. Instead, turn on the intentional system to analyze what’s going on. Evaluate whether any cognitive biases might be impacting you and use one or more science-based strategies that have proven effective to address judgment errors.

 

It’s easy to read this article and the linked pieces. The harder task is the challenging reflection required to protect yourself and your business from judgment errors. Even more difficult: integrating what you’ve learned into your day-to-day work, where the rubber meets the road, and empowering others to do so as part of the wise decision maker movement.

 

So what kind of story do you want to tell about yourself three months from now? Do you want to be the person that reads a paradigm-shifting manifesto and linked articles, but regrets that work got away from you and you let these strategies slip away, with you and those you care about suffering the disasters that followed? Alternatively, do you want to tell the story that you read these paradigm-shifting pieces, did all the hard work needed to adapt the critically important new information into your professional toolbox, and invested the effort to integrate these strategies into your work to take your and your team’s performance to the next level and leave the competition in the dust?

 

Which of these stories reflects the kind of leader you want to be and the future in which you want to live? The choice is yours.

 

If you’re the second type of leader, I can promise you’ll see three major benefits. 

 

  • First, you’ll stand head and shoulders above the competition by defending yourself from numerous potential threats and being optimally prepared to take advantage of unexpected opportunities, thus maximizing your bottom line. 
  • Second, you can feel safe and confident, sleeping soundly at night knowing that by avoiding dangerous decisions you will automatically exceed expectations for your clients, colleagues, vendors, investors, and any other internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Third, you’ll have much less frustration, stress, and anxiety in your day-to-day work because of your ability to have outstanding business relationships inside and outside your organization. 

Those you care about, to whom you spread this information as part of the wise decision maker movement, will get similar benefits.

 

If you remember only one thing from reading this piece, please recall that the option that feels most comfortable to your gut is often the worst decision for your bottom line

 

In our technologically disrupted environment, the future is never going to be like today. We have to adapt constantly to an increasingly-changing environment to ensure the success of our business and our careers. That ever-intensifying pace of change means our gut reactions will be less and less applicable in the future. Relying on our autopilot system will lead us to crash and burn.

 

The ones who survive and flourish in the world of tomorrow will recognize this paradigm shift. They will adopt counterintuitive, uncomfortable, and highly profitable techniques to avoid business disasters and make the best decisions by relying on their intentional system to address the systematic and predictable errors we all tend to make. It is my fervent hope that you join us, minimizing suffering and maximizing wellbeing for you, your team, and everyone with whom you share about this paradigm shift as part of the broader wise decision maker movement. 

 

I wish you the wisest decisions, my friends!

 

Key Takeaway

 

The choice that feels most comfortable to your gut is often the worst decision for your bottom line. To be a truly wise decision maker, you have to adopt counterintuitive, uncomfortable, but highly profitable techniques to avoid business disasters by making the best decisions. —> Click to Tweet

 

Questions to Consider (please share your thoughts in the comments section)

 

  • Where has going with your gut caused you or others in your professional network or organization problems in the past?
  • What obstacles do you foresee with adopting the counterintuitive, uncomfortable, and highly profitable approach of making the best decisions by not going with your gut?
  • What are the next steps you can take to integrate this information into your own work, into your team, and into your organization?

Image Credit: Disaster Avoidance Experts and Public Domain Pictures/Petr Kratochvil

 

 

Bio: Dr. Gleb Tsipursky empowers you to avoid business disasters as CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts. He is a best-selling author of several well-known books, including Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters and The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. Tsipursky’s cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 400 articles and 350 interviews in Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Inc. Magazine, and elsewhere. His expertise stems from his background of over 20 years of consulting, coaching, speaking, and training experience across North America, Europe, and Australia. It also comes from his strong research and teaching background in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University, with dozens of peer-reviewed academic publications. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Most importantly, help yourself avoid disasters and maximize success, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace, by signing up for his free Wise Decision Maker Course.

 

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