One of Shawn Parker’s many insights into Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership of the business is that Mark had an instinctive understanding of the key business decisions that needed to be made and the circumstances that surround them.

Research suggests that not all business leaders are equally blessed.  Business leaders have been found to vary considerably in their;

  1. fluid intelligence: The ability to apply logic, reason and general heuristics to novel problems
  2. ability to be sensitive to, and avoid, bias in evaluating the alternative course of action
  3. managerial storytelling to motivate and mobilise an organisation around a new strategic plan
  4. social cognitive skills, specifically the speed with which they attribute mental states to others, their ability to discern the meaning of non-verbal behaviour and their sensitivity to social norms.

Statistical analysis suggests differences between CEOs accounts for between 12 and 25% of the variability in firm performance.

So, all leaders need a decision tree but not all of them have the ability to maintain that tree in their head.

Photo credit: Adapted from Wikimedia by Goal Atlas

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