What if you had better control over the outcomes of the decisions you make? That would change anyone’s life, but it’s especially invaluable for entrepreneurs.
That’s the premise behind Nobel Prize winner and behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” First published in 2011, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” takes readers on a 499-page journey to understanding how the brain’s 2 systems influence decision-making. The result is a thorough inspection of our mental limitations, gaps, and strengths.
Kahneman explains that our brain processes information and draws conclusions using 2 systems. The first is fast and emotional. These are the fight-or-flight responses. Meanwhile, the second system is more deliberative. We place logic at the center of it rather than emotions or survival. Together, each system offers value to our thinking.
When we understand how this dual system can create gaps in our decision-making process, Kahneman believes readers will be better equipped to make thoughtful decisions. This could eliminate certain variables that lead to poor decision-making.
Why Business Leaders Should Care About How They Make Decisions
Beyond the psychological case studies and (ironically) thought-provoking essays, Kahneman’s work has become a must-read for business leaders. In fact, Anthony Casalena, the CEO of Squarespace, told Forbes in 2018 that “Thinking, Fact and Slow” changed his mind.
“Learning more about how the brain makes decisions, and more about our inherent biases, really makes you wonder about your own decision-making process,” Casalena said. “Keeping this in mind, I try and slow down certain kinds of decision-making in order to get to the best results.”
As an entrepreneur, your ability to make good decisions influences every part of your business. It’s the catalyst for your success — or failure. (No pressure.) Business books and gurus often focus on the grind of being a business leader, but not enough is said about your mindset. You’re told to work hard, appreciate the sacrifice, and be meticulous and cutthroat. But how can you grow your mindset when you don’t even know how the mind works? Visualization may be key to success, but simply saying, “I’m going to make better decisions” doesn’t make it happen.
In order to improve your decision-making skills, you need to become the expert of your mind. You need to study the work and research of experts like Kahneman, whose advanced economic and psychological expertise is accessible in “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Kahneman provides readers with the knowledge to craft a decision-making formula that allows you to embrace your weak points and utilize your strengths.
Having More Control In Decision-Making
Let go of the idea that you have complete control or that “there’s no such thing as bad luck.” Bad things happen, even when you make good decisions. Even Kahneman acknowledges that chance decides so much more of our lives and business than we can ever understand.
But therein lies the problem with our thinking.
Without properly understanding how our brain’s 2 systems operate and process information, thoughtful decisions are impossible to make — despite chance. With Kahneman’s help, readers can better harness their mind’s processing power to make good decisions and avoid obvious pitfalls.