Showing posts from April, 2016

Why We Make Bad Decisions

The simplest answer to the question may be "to err is human." We are not referring to honest mistakes that we may commit occasionally - after all, no one is infallible. What we are examining is our propensity to make decisions even when the evidence stares us in the face that the consequences could be disastrous. Malcolm Gladwell provides an interesting phenomenon in his best-selling book Blink , where he introduces the concept of autonomous decision making - a process of thinking without thinking. Such a process has its origins in intuition, cognition, and gut feeling. Before getting to some patently bad decisions, let us understand the mechanism of an exceptionally good decision made without going through analysis or synthesis. On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 took off from New York's LaGuardia airport headed towards Charlotte Douglas airport. Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was in command. As the aircraft was climbing to its designated alt


There are bosses. Then there are a few superbosses. Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. He is the author of Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent (Portfolio/Penguin 2016). Based on a decade of research, a review of thousands of articles and scores of books, and over 200 interviews, the book concludes that in a given industry, as many as half of the top people once worked for the same leader. 20 of the NFL's 32 head coaches trained under Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers. In hedge funds, dozens of proteges of Julian Robertson have become top fund managers. Between 1994 and 2004, 9 of the 11 executives who worked closely with Larry Ellison at Oracle and left the company without retiring went on to become CEOs, Chairs, or COOs of other companies. Besides being extremely confident, competitive, and imaginative, these star makers exhibited certain similarities i