Summary of Sources of Power

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In this original, honest and sometimes amusing book Gary Klein studied expert decision makers, such as firefighters, soldiers and chess masters, who operate under highly challenging conditions. He shares his early assumptions about how they made decisions, but his research reveals that his initial theories were wrong. He has learned what good decision making requires and shares that expertise in tightly focused chapters rich with examples. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone interested in decision making, and especially to those who make high-stakes determinations under dynamic conditions: leaders, strategists, futurists, investors and businesspeople.

About the Author

Gary Klein, founder of Klein Associates, Inc., is the author of The Power of Intuition and the co-author of The Working Mind.



“Decisions and Models of Decision Making”

Most people make decisions badly. However, firefighters, military leaders and chess masters, for instance, make critical decisions under extreme pressure every day. If they are wrong, the least they can lose is a career-defining game: the most is someone’s life. These experts reach their decisions in “high stakes,” time-pressured situations. They must act despite scarce information, ambiguous objectives and ill-defined methods. Often they must “juggle complex goals,” recognize relationships and perceive differences while immersed in dynamic circumstances that change second by second. Yet these experts routinely make good decisions. How are they able to think through the issues, choose among options and direct their will while avoiding the paralysis of self-doubt?

They eschew the “rational choice strategy” taught in many business schools. In that model, you identify and evaluate your options, weigh different aspects, produce ratings and choose the alternative that scores the most points. But decision-making pros don’t use any aspect of this model. When asked, many experts couldn’t remember making decisions or even considering...

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