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Think Bigger by Michael W. Sonnenfeldt

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LESSON 15Diversity Makes You Smarter

Many of Tiger 21’s members join because they are searching for a safe haven in which to grapple with the uncertainties of their next act. They are deeply attracted to exploring the pros and cons of different opportunities and scenarios confidentially with economic peers who have enjoyed similar levels of success. They want to learn how others have dealt with their share of failure and success and how they have navigated such challenges over a lifetime. Most of us soon learn, however, that the ultimate benefit of a peer-to-peer group is not what you have in common but what’s different about your backgrounds and business experiences.

In recent years, diversity has become a hollow, politically correct word. But real diversity is critically important. The pragmatic benefits that flow from having people with different backgrounds and expertise in a room have been backed up by decades of research by psychologists, organizational experts, and management gurus.

The evolution of our groups has certainly confirmed it. Among our members are Latinos, African Americans, East and South Asians, and Central Europeans. Our members exhibit a cross section of sexual preferences, populate most of the political spectrum, and represent any number of religious and nonreligious beliefs.

And while men still far outnumber women, as the number of highly successful female entrepreneurs has increased, more of them are turning to our organization for the same reasons ...

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