Segal’s law: A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.
Segal’s Law is a humorous way of addressing the pitfalls that come from amassing too much information in advance of making a decision. In a nutshell, it suggests that the more data you obtain, the greater the likelihood that it will conflict with what you already know, thus complicating the process. No doubt, at some point, as a leader, you’ve found yourself in a similar situation.
But where is the line between too much and too little information? At what point do you have enough for effective decision making? The answer is elusive, but ultimately, it lies in your personality. If you are detail-oriented, then you have a predisposition towards gathering as much evidence as you possibly can; after all, more data is better, right? Not if you have a more big-picture approach to leadership though. People who have a tendency to take a high-level outlook on things are more likely to shun what they refer to as the minutiae of the situation. Either way though, too extreme an outlook, whether it’s too much or too little, will not bode well for you as a leader.
My advice: do what doesn’t come easily to you. If you find specifics and fine points frustrating, then seek out more timepieces. But if you are right at home in the intricacies and inner workings of data, then start purging the number of watches you have around your wrist.
Well, what are your thoughts? Did Segal get it right, or is he bordering on the ridiculous? Why?