Decision Making: Gut – Data – Gut

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Decision Making: Gut – Data – Gut

In the past, a lot of my decision making was based on gut. I’d do, or not do, based on my feelings towards the idea. The problem was that my internal compass wasn’t well formed when I was younger. So my gut reaction was a hit or miss.

Then, as I dug more into entrepreneurship, I used data as my north star. I’d have five different dashboards to track everything and if the data spoke, I listened. The problem with this approach was data doesn’t provide any emotional insight during the decision making process. In fact, the point of using data is to remove the emotional element. This type of decision making didn’t feel right to me. It missed the human element.

As I get older, my gut, or internal compass, gets smarter. With each new life experience, my ability to make a better decision the next time grows. So I find myself trusting my gut more and more again, but I also know the importance data plays in decision making.

Last week, I listened to JOYUS Founder and Chairman Sukhinder Singh Cassidy give a lecture for the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series where she described her decision making process as starting with a gut feeling, then using data to confirm or deny her gut, then going back to her gut to pull the trigger. Gut, data, gut.

I didn’t have a label for my current decision making process, but gut, data, gut feels right with how I now like to make decisions based on a blend of data and a stronger, though still developing, internal compass.

Tom Krieglstein
Tom Krieglstein
Tom started his first business, an online retail store, as a junior in college which he grew to $1.5 million dollars in annual sales. Through his second company, Swift Kick, Tom has spoken to over half a million leaders around the US and the world including South Korea, Indonesia, and Bermuda. Tom was named the #1 leadership speaker an unprecedented 5 years. He’s a TEDx speaker, Guinness World Record holder, and has co-authored the award winning book “First Year Student to First Year Success.”And on a personal note, Tom lives in New York City, was named after a cat, and loves peanut butter.