Choosing Clarity over Certainty,

In his book the 5 Temptations of a CEO, Patrick Lencioni Risk asserts that the third temptation that can befall a CEO is the desire to seek certainty over clarity. One way this manifests itself, is for the CEO to seek to have all the information before making a decision. This is not a good thing, one of the skills of the CEO is to determine that he has enough (not all) information to make the decision. It is a factor or Risk versus Reward.

Risk and reward are the fundamental identities of business life in general and decision making in particular.   If you’d like to increase your risk IQ,  spend some time with Annie Duke, author of “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts.”    As she says,  Poker is a game of decision making under conditions of uncertainty over time.  

Ms. Duke’s was working on a Ph.D in cognitive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania with a National Science Foundation fellowship.   She took some time off to explore the practical aspects of risk by becoming a professional poker player.  In doing so she won over $4 million as a professional poker player and was World Series of Poker Champion

Increase your risk IQ with her entertaining 16 minutes TED Talk on the interrelationships of  life, risk, business and poker.    After watching this, if you think it’s a good bet that she can make you a better risk takertake a chance on investing minutes on her Google University Talk: “Thinking in Bets.”

Reading for 2021

So much to read…. So little time.  Knowing what to read is a priority, and a necessity,  for every executive.   Answering that question is itself difficult.  So here’s a list of favorite books from some of my writers and business people.

Warrant Buffett:   When we think of a successful investor, Warren Buffett always comes to mind.  This short Inc articles lists the “9 Books Warren Buffet Wants You to Read to Help Make Your Smarter.”

Bill Gates:    I have generally found Mr. Gates recommendations to be sound.   Check out his picks for “5 Books to Enjoy this Winter.”

Daniel Pink:    An author of provocative books on important topics  (read to  “To Sell is Human” if you haven’t)    Here is a list of “36 Books Recommended by Daniel Pink.”

Business Insider:    Check out its list of The 31 most influential books ever written about business