Cherry Picking Information and Leadership

By | July 30, 2014

[July 30, 2014] Wilson, a childhood friend of mine told the story of his days picking blackberries, many years ago in his father’s land. Those were the days before a heavy reliance on pesticides and so it was expected to have losses due to insect activity. My friend insisted that all those blackberries were “perfect” in every way, including taste and ripeness. Those ideal berries were proof that his dad’s land was the best. The fallacy of looking only at selective information, those perfect blackberries, can lead to conclusions that are false or biased.

Senior LeadershipHaving picked a berry or two, I knew better. My friend was simply picking berries that were of higher quality – already ripe and not partly eaten by insects. Cherry picking information is an all too common fallacy seen used everywhere. Leaders need to be aware that those that work for them will want to present the best information to them. They want to make a good impression on the leaders and often will, unknowingly, present selective information. This can easily lead to the wrong results.

Leaders should be particularly careful and confirm the information they receive. Obtaining information from multiple sources is one way to do this. Walking around and talking to people in the organization, is a way to verify information is accurate or not selective.

Wilson later become a state-level politician and continues in politics today. He makes a great case for his ideas. I often wonder if he is cherry picking information for his debates.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

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