Ponder the Tough Issues

Almost everyone knows a few people who are especially good at thinking through problems and understanding complicated situations. What sets them apart, quite often, is their skill at a fundamental type of reflection, best described as pondering. It opens the door to deeper understanding, insight, and creativity and better decisions—on personal and professional issues.

What is pondering? Here is a clear example, taken from an interview with a manager who was seriously considering a new professional opportunity. To preserve confidentiality, we will call him Mateo. He had spent the first fifteen years of his career working in New York for a financial firm. Then he made a radical career change and began working as ...

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