Adam Grant Reveals What Most Leaders Get Wrong & Simple Things All Execs Should Try | Davos 2019

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist, a Wharton professor, and the best-selling author. Grant sat down with Business Insider editor-at-large Sara Silverstein at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to discuss how people get power, how they keep it, and what they do with it.

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Adam Grant Reveals What Most Leaders Get Wrong & Simple Things All Execs Should Try | Davos 2019

Why Giving Advice To Friends Is Easier Than To Ourselves

Adam Grant is a professor at Wharton and author of “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” and “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.” He explains why we are more likely to give better advice to our friends than to ourselves. Grant also outlines the shortcuts we use to make better and faster decisions and how they sometimes backfire.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

Adam Grant: Have you ever given advice to a friend where you just felt like, “I just gave the best advice ever,” and then you found yourself in the same situation a few days later, and you made a horrible decision?

Sara Silverstein: Absolutely, I do it all the time. I’m a very good advice giver, very bad life-decision maker.

Grant: Yeah, what’s that about? Because they’re the same skills, right? Giving people advice on what to do and then making your own decisions. It’s the exact same thing. Except it’s not. It’s called Solomon’s Paradox.

Solomon’s paradox: we can see solutions to other people’s problems more clearly than our own

Grant: And the idea is that when you give other people advice, you look at the problem through a telescope, and you see the big picture, you focus on the two or three criteria that are really important. Whereas when you’re making your own decisions, you tend to look at it through a microscope, which is how we end up with these Excel spreadsheets that have 19 different columns, and then you’re adjusting the weights, how important is each factor in order to get the decision that you want.

And I think that this illustrates: it’s one thing to know what a good decision is; it’s another thing to be able to make that decision yourself. And because it’s so difficult, if you were to actually sit down and analyze every decision in your life, you could spend hours deciding, “Well, what time should I wake up? Should I wake up at 6:01 or 6:02? I mean, my whole life could be different because of that. What should I order to eat? Who should I call first this morning? Which way should I take to work?” These decisions, we could spend all day just making these potentially paralyzing decisions. We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to waste our time. So what we do is we develop what are called heuristics, which are sort of mental shortcuts.

Heuristics: mental shortcuts that help us make decisions but can be flawed and lead to cognitive bias

Grant: If I can say to myself, “Well, experts are usually correct.” I don’t have to analyze a bunch of decisions where there’s already expert opinion. And a lot of times those heuristics make us smart, and they make us much more efficient decision makers. The problem is we overapply them. And so we might end up in a situation where the heuristic was good the last nine times we tried it, but you know what, now the expert is wrong, and we haven’t really stopped to think about whether we can trust that expert in that situation.

Miami’s Real Estate Market is Benefiting from Rising Sea Levels (HBO)

The latest reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that sea levels are likely to rise almost three feet by the end of the century. And in South Florida, sea level rise and climate change are already having an effect on roads and drinking water.

But looking at Miami Beach’s real estate market, you wouldn’t know that the city is potentially facing a half a trillion dollars in flood damage. Shane Smith met with two of Miami beach’s top real estate brokers, Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, to find out what’s protecting the market. He also speaks with an insurance expert from Wharton who explains how the city’s public funds come predominantly from real estate taxes — meaning that putting more property at risk is also the very thing helping Miami deal with rising seas.

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