Certainty, accuracy and leadership

Certainty: Resolute in the face of criticism and implacable when confronting evidence to the contrary. ‘Never in doubt’ is more important than being right. The need to prove strength and consistency often ties us into knots, particularly in a world with new information and insight arriving so often.

Accuracy: Aware that the sum total of our current assertions is a measure of our wisdom, which means that disproven hypotheses should be abandoned as soon as the truth is made clear. The scientific method is a process, not a lab coat or a textbook. Changing one’s point of view is a virtue, not a flaw.

It seems clear that for just about anything that we can measure, if it really matters, accuracy is a better trait than certainty. And yet our instincts and our media cycles seem to push us toward certainty instead.