Thursday, August 5, 2010

LESSONS FROM GARRY KASPAROV ON STRATEGIC THINKING

"It’s true that today we are faced with greater complexity in almost every aspect of our lives, from global competition in the business world to more options for entertainment.

The connected world has flooded us with a limitless supply of data, & equally limitless choices.

One of the problems this has created is that it creates the illusion, or delusion, that we can achieve perfection in our decisions by accumulating more information.

It’s too easy to blame faulty decisions on imperfect information, but information is always limited in some way, as is the time available to make our decisions.

Forget perfection! Decisiveness comes from the courage to trust your instincts. The more you trust, the more you’ll build up that intuition & the more accurate it will become, creating a positive cycle.

Before you lay out your options, what we might call considering your next move, you have to have a solid understanding of the present. Evaluation is more important than calculation.

Rushing into narrowing things down to a list of options is itself a form of making a choice - & if you do that, you can prematurely rule out important possibilities. Stop looking ahead for a moment & examine the current state of affairs.

Good decisions come from a solid understanding of all the factors that come into play. Once you have tuned your evaluation skills & learned to put the options on hold for a moment you’ll often find that difficult decisions become obvious...

We all do it (strategic thinking) every day, the difference is that it takes discipline (in addition to passion & patience) to become aware of it...


... We make hundreds of decisions just to get through each day. A handful are important enough to keep track of, to look back on critically. Were they successful? Why or why not? We can train ourselves, which is really the only way...

... Emotion is a critical element of decision-making, not a sin always to be avoided. As with anything it is harmful in excess. You learn to focus it & control it the best you can...

... Usually when you are under stress there is a good reason for it. Learning not to get anxious about things beyond your control is a separate issue.


So don’t fight stress, use it! Channel that nervous energy into solving the problems.

Sitting around worrying isn’t going to achieve anything & the loss of time will often make the problem worse. Even in the worst case, mistakes of action teach you much more than inaction. Forward!..."

~ Garry Kasparov, Russian chess grandmaster for 22 years;

[Source: Amazon.com Review: Questions for Garry Kasparov]

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