Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions

by Andrew Campbell, Jo Whitehead, and Sydney Finkelstein

DECISION MAKING LIES AT THE heart of our personal and professional lives. Every day we make decisions. Some are small, domestic, and innocuous. Others are more important, affecting people’s lives, livelihoods, and well-being. Inevitably, we make mistakes along the way. The daunting reality is that enormously important decisions made by intelligent, responsible people with the best information and intentions are sometimes hopelessly flawed.

Consider Jürgen Schrempp, CEO of Daimler-Benz. He led the merger of Chrysler and Daimler against internal opposition. Nine years later, Daimler was forced to virtually give Chrysler away in a private equity deal. Steve ...

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