Make Decisions using Facts, not “The Gut”

“The Gut” Works for Some
Facts Work for More
Nothing Works for Most

Most people stubbornly “stick to their guns” on their decisions, even in the face of overwhelming, contravening facts. They view fixing a bad decision as indecision. In LO+FT language, that's an extremely detrimental habit.

Learning to Deal with Facts

Most human brains are not natively wired to handle facts in the form of language-based information, and certainly not in mathematical form. Brains are wired to filter sensory input in real time. That means that a winning leader needs to add the ability to deal with objective facts to the box of tools. Crudely, this involves:

  • Collecting facts.
  • Evaluating facts.
  • Discerning relationships between facts.
  • Learning to Deal with People

    “Going with your gut” mostly means responding to the emotions other people generate in your inner dialog. Your real-time sensory filters decode the meaning of someone's demeanor, and you react based on the feelings your body gives you. For an extremely small number of lucky people, their decoding gives them responses that work fairly well fairly often. For the rest of us, we have to add relevant facts to our thinking to keep our guts from driving us to bad reactions.

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    Facts: The Basis of Success

    Dr. Meylan: So, at about this time,I start getting comments like, “There's no time to do all of that. I just do the first thing that comes to mind and deal with the problem that way.” That seems to be a real common approach around here. So, Doctor, tell me what you think is going on.

    George Bone, MD, Medical Director, IC Care: Well...“around here”...that's a common approach in many places. What persons normally do is, a current problem triggers an old solution. And if they're lucky, the current problem maps directly to the old problem, therefore the old solution will work. But if the semblance between the two problems is only superficial, then someone is in for a big disappointment. So in cases like this one would actually say instead of doing critical thinking, people are mis-applying the memory of a past success onto an incorrect problem. Because it doesn't map 100%, it leads to failure, or lack of success.

    Dr. Meylan: But people usually believe they are thinking critically. What's the difference?

    Dr. Bone: Well, the big difference between the way most people approach problems and the approach called critical thinking is that critical thinking requires facts, hard facts. Opinions cannot work as inputs. Wishes also cannot work. Only facts work. If you won't take the time to collect the relevant facts, you can't do critical thinking. If you don't have the time to gather the facts, then you better hope instincts, habits, experience are up to the real-time emergency that you're facing. Because if they're not, you will not succeed.

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    How it works — The LO+FTTM Principle

    Optimizing Luck Cover

    Study the present very carefully
    to build possible versions of the future.


    Generate strategic options
    based on those possible futures.


    Work quickly to create long lead times,
    and watch events carefully to select the best options.

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