More Art Than Science

Decision making. It’s great when the consequences matter very little. But more art than science is the same thing that keeps us up at night wondering if we made the right decision — especially when it impacts or changes peoples’ lives significantly.

Nothing screams that more than looking at your kids’ faces thinking, “I could really screw this up.” But, and I’d argue to a lesser degree, it is still very applicable in every other area of life, such as the workplace.

If you’re like me, you like quite a bit of science so you can back up your assessments, critiques, forecasts, and — ultimately — decisions with massive swaths of data. But sometimes it’s going with your gut, sometimes the answer can be a choice between two great decisions. You simply lack the data at this time to know which one will propel you further.

Hindsight can be 20/20, but in the moment we often lack what we consider is sufficient science. It’s tough because you know certain decisions will have a big ripple effect for a long time — and you may not learn of the major consequences for months or years from now.

I don’t have all the answers, but I am thankful that I’m surrounded by amazingly brilliant and smart people to help solve — and challenge me on—some of these decisions. Smart people thrive on freedom. The difficult part is that freedom always includes a mixture of art and science, but that’s what makes it all worth it. If everything were figured out, we’d likely be complaining that there’s no art to it all.

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