Barack Obama explains do’s and don’ts of presidential decision-making

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At an event in San Francisco yesterday, former president Barack Obama discussed how presidents should make decisions.

“Make sure you have a team with a diversity of opinion sitting around you,” he said. And since there is too much information for one person to process, he stressed the importance of being surrounded by diligent, knowledgeable teams. “What you have to do is create a process where you have confidence that whatever data is out there has been sifted and sorted.”

The former president also explained what not to do as a president.

“The other thing that’s helpful is not watching TV or reading social media. Those are two things I would advise, if you’re our president, not to do. It creates a lot of noise and clouds your judgment.”

“If you are susceptible to worrying about what the polls are saying or what might this person say about this topic, or you start mistaking the intensity of the passion of a very small subset of people with a broader sense about your country or people who know something about the topic, that will sway your decision-making in an unhealthy way.” 

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