Not pretending to know the answers
“Around cabinet and boardroom tables across the world, there’s a familiar dynamic. Recommendations and data are shared, and, ultimately, decisions have to be made. Those around the table, …, did not get to these positions by saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’. Leadership needs to be shown. … Those who have worked in such circles will recognise the sentiment ‘It’s better to be decisive and wrong, than uncertain and right’. Decisiveness, confidence and a clear vision is seen as a recipe for re-election as a politician, and to calm nervous shareholders as a business leader. Yet while it may be good career advice, …, it’s ultimately a terrible way to run a country or a business. In short, it’s a recipe for squandering millions.
If it is results we are after, our leaders – and all of us – need a different strategy. We, they and their advisers, need to get used to saying ‘I don’t know – but I now how we can find out’. We can test, learn and adapt. And we can do it fast.”p.269
Inside the nudge unit, David Halpern. WH Allen, 2016, 383p.