Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is an expert in the field of disaster avoidance. He joins Tom Fox on this week’s show to talk about his work, including how he helps leaders avoid decisions that lead to disaster.



Avoiding Disaster

“Avoiding a disaster is always preferable to recovering from it. So I believe to avoid disaster we have to understand where disasters come from. There are only two things that lead to disasters, and they both come from our decisions,” says Gleb. “…One is an active decision where we make a decision ourselves that leads to a pretty disastrous situation… The other type of disaster comes from when we fail to make a decision that we need to make to avoid a disaster.” Glen says that his mission is to help leaders recognize and overcome the cognitive biases that lead them into making disastrous decisions. These cognitive biases are the decision-making patterns that we fall into because of how our brain is wired, he points out. Our instincts are not wired for the modern environment.

Magical Thinking

Tom asks Gleb to describe the top three judgment errors – ‘magical thinking’ – leaders make that lead to disaster. Gleb responds that these are:

  1. Overconfidence bias – research shows that the more confidence a leader exhibits, the worse their business performs. “When we should be confident is after we make a very carefully considered, data-driven, informed evaluation and then implement that decision,” he says.
  2. Sunken cost bias – leaders tend to stick with a plan even when evidence shows it isn’t working, and they should pivot.
  3. Confirmation bias – looking at the world in a way that confirms their beliefs, instead of letting evidence inform their vision.

Stakeholder Engagement

Gleb outlines three social intelligence methods leaders should employ to achieve their leadership goals. These are empathetic listening, rapport building, and curious questioning. These skills will help leaders influence and engage stakeholders. “People are not nearly aware of how much their emotions drive them,” he comments. He emphasizes that the essence of leadership is stakeholder engagement.  He and Tom discuss helping leaders fight unconscious biases in their organizations. He shares practical ways leaders can overcome tribalism personally and within their businesses.



Free video modules: Wise Decision Making Guide

Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters

The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Bias and Build Better Relationships