Posts Tagged ‘Critical Thinking’

Would You Rather be Intelligent or Smart?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

It seems like there is a semantics play-off here but in reality this is a good question.

Here is why I am posing it- a common comment I hear from companies is, “He is really intelligent but the audience can’t comprehend what he is saying.”  So if you are intelligent but no one can take action on what you say, are you really effective? And if power is in the application of knowledge but no one can apply your knowledge, do you really have power at all?

The answer is no.  The most effective leaders are not the ones who are the most intelligent; they are the leaders that are smart.  They are smart in business and they are smart in common sense.  They know when to pull the plug and when to take risk.

It intrigues me how I have never found a top leader describe themself as intelligent but many will use the word smart.  There are different applications and implications by both words.  I find too many corporations spend too much money and time on people they see as brilliant or intelligent but who create chaos behind them because no one can understand what they are to do or when to do it.

So when you are hiring, go for the person who is smart, high in EQ, and willing to grow and stretch.     



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Sept 23, 2010 at 1:00 CST

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Jesse James and Sandra Bullock: Truth or Fiction?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

There is nothing that sparks more interest in people then getting the inside scoop on the good, the bad and the ugly for other people. Unfortunately that light is being cast right now on Jesse James and Sandra Bullock.

I will not attempt to prove whether he has or has not cheated on her but instead show you how information can be skewed based on perceptions- how our brains can make leaps in logic.

Here are some of the leaps I am hearing people do:

  1. He cheated on her, he wears tattoos, therefore an indication of cheating is the fast paced life of tattoos.
  2. His second wife was a porn star- proof the guy has more raunchy taste and Sandra is his exception.
  3. All the women coming forward have tattoos, and tattoo people are daredevils so it is proof that he did have the affairs
  4. He has been married twice before, proof he can’t be true.

All of these have elements of facts and lots of opinion that is being put together to become fact-based.

So here is all we do know:

  1. He has been married twice before and both marriages ended in divorce.
  2. He does like fast cars and tattoos.
  3. At least one of his previous marriages ended due to affairs he had, so he does have knowledge of how to conduct them.

Those are the only facts we have now, and the rest we need to see played out. What you want to avoid is jumping to generalizations based on some facts.

The hardest thing in business is to stay focused on the facts and not be swayed by opinion. It is easy to say, “Joe didn’t get that report in on time therefore Joe is always last.” There you have fact “he didn’t get the report in on time” and then move to opinion “Joe is always late.” Good critical thinkers know when to listen to the facts, weed out the assumptions and opinions, and when to act on what they know.

For now I wish them best of luck in sorting things out and if it is true, then, in my opinion, he needs figure out why he needs the element of risk to feel alive.