Sunday, August 22, 2010

Joshua Lerner & Richard Thaler on Leadership Characteristics

Joshua Lerner published this intriguing article recently in the Wall Street Journal that suggested that leaders change once they assume the highest rungs of power. Someone scholar ought to check out whether the social scientists' tests (of undergraduates?) mesh with political history. It seems plausible that this is the course of event most often—the hubris of power. An interesting article in the NYT by Richard Thaler, "The Overconfidence Problem in Forecasting" tells of business leaders who vastly overestimate their ability to make successful economics forecasts, and this serves as a stark reminder about the foibles of prediction. More interestingly, it tacks with Lerner's article on leadership hubris. Thaler concludes with an apropos quote from Mark Twain: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Oh, and one other thing, this overconfidence factor isn't limited to leaders—it applies to all of us. Think the Lake Wobegon effect.

No comments: