Man is still a creature of the animal kingdom, and emotion plays a considerable part at critical decision points. Research has repeatedly shown that timely decisions — based on less information — frequently generate equal or better results than delayed, but more fully analysed decision making. This probably reflects man’s instinctive learning capability, and our adaptive skills to transpose one set of circumstances (known) over another situation (unknown), and in effect, make good ‘educated guesses’.
Another fascinating fact: man frequently over-estimates the pain of a possible mistake — and then under-estimates the ability and time needed to correct that same mistake. This leads to dwelling on failures and hesitancy in commitments. Not a great entrepreneurial strategy!
No doubt emotional intelligence — or the lack thereof — has been a contributor to otherwise good businesses coming unglued. Think One-Tel, and its expansion into building a multi-billion dollar telecoms network on the back of initial success as a reselling operation. Hubris can have a poisonous effect on the entrepreneur’s ability to process contradictory information running against the grain of their accepted wisdom.
Mentoring and modelling of behaviours has been shown to have a strong influence on coping skills for leaders. As a pilot trains heavily in a simulated environment, might we train entrepreneurs through experiential learning, and deep interaction with serial entrepreneurs? This is a key plank of our learning methodology in CEO School.