Wednesday, August 05, 2009

HBR :: On Bad Decision Makers

Why Jerks Are Bad Decision-Makers - Tom Davenport -
So what are the mechanisms that translate being a jerk into being a poor decision-maker? Jerks tend to think their own perspectives are the only ones worth considering, but good decisions require serious consideration of alternatives. Jerks think they're never wrong, but good decisions require acknowledging and learning from mistakes. Jerks are consumed with petty resentments and grievances, but good decisions require clear-headed, objective thinking. Jerks alienate other people, but good decisions require collaboration across a social network (as a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article by Rob Cross and Bob Thomas suggests.) This falls short of a complete description of either jerkdom or decision excellence, but you get the picture.

Jerks often seem to get ahead in firms and advance through the ranks, but that's a dangerous phenomenon. If you want good decisions in your organization, don't hire, promote, or retain jerks.

Well.. I can't add anything more without turning this post into a rant. So just read the post above. My view is that you really can't control what type of individual becomes successful in a given organization's culture. I've seen decent and capable people who thrived in one organization not lasting more than a year or two in another. I've also seen those in limbo. The fighters who refuse to give up. I admire the latter. Because living is learning and you learn something new everyday.