The value of experience in decision-making.

In his blog post, The Trap of Insightful Selection, Seth Godin reminds great leaders of the value of experience in decision-making.

“Which one do you want?” There were 100 quarts of strawberries at the farmer’s market yesterday. In answer to the farmer’s question, the person ahead of me in line spent a full minute looking them all over before picking one. The thing is: 90% of the strawberries in a quart are hidden from view. They’re beneath the top layer. There’s no strategy to tell which quart is better than the other.

If all you’re seeing is the top layer, you’ve learned nothing. Maybe less than nothing. Con men are particularly good at seeming trustworthy, and the outfit worn to a job interview tells you nothing about someone’s dedication, work ethic or honesty. The real information comes from experience. If the farmer is the sort of person who won’t put the clinkers on the bottom, she’s earned our trust.

Our decisions require a moment of pause to inquire beyond what is seen, heard or presented. Experience or exposure adds another dimension and qualifier that brings value to a decision. Knowing is expanded by reality, and even one step beyond… feelings. May your eyes, heart and experience help you better know the 90% of those hidden strawberries of life and people.

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