Source | World Economic Forum
“Leaders must understand that we are living in a world marked by uncertainty, volatility and deep transformational changes,” World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab wrote at the start of the year.
As thousands of global leaders descend on the Swiss village of Davos to discuss these very issues, we asked six of them this question: what does it take to lead in these times of turbulence?
Adam Grant, Professor, Management and Psychology, Wharton School
In times of uncertainty, a critical skill for responsible leaders is to say “I might be wrong” – and mean it. I work with too many leaders who cling to their convictions with an iron will. As intoxicating as that confidence can be, it’s a huge barrier to making wise decisions and pivoting as circumstances change.
The leaders who fare best at predicting the future are the ones who recognize that the future is unpredictable. By embracing doubt, they stay open to new ideas. As a result, they’re ready to act when headwinds turn into tailwinds. So I have a simple message for leaders: if you want to increase the odds that you’ll be right, accept that you’re probably wrong.
Phil Tetlock and Dan Gardner, Authors of Superforecasting
Heightened uncertainty puts a premium on good judgement. And nothing is more fundamental to good judgement than intellectual humility.
Note the adjective. This isn’t self-denigration. Intellectual humility simply means appreciating both the infinite complexity of reality and the fallibility of human beings. It’s invaluable because, taken seriously, three consequences follow.
One, intellectual humility causes the wise leaders to distrust quick-and-easy answers. The intellectually humble always want to learn more and explore different perspectives, in hopes of finding additional bits and pieces of truth.