The difference between second guessing and re-evaluating
(...) to help narrow this down, I therefore want to use other words and distinguish between “second guessing” and “re-evaluating.” The former is questioning a decision without material new information. The latter is revisiting a decision after material new information has been obtained. It is second guessing which is destructive for morale, because it calls into question not just the decision but also undermines the legitimacy of the decision making process itself. A a leader you should keep any second guessing strictly to yourself.
Re-evaluating on the other hand is healthy but requires a good decision making process. In particular, there has to be a relatively clear way of assessing whether something is in fact material new information. There is a famous quote, often attributed to Keynes: when the facts change, I change my opinion – what do you do? If you have a good process for making decisions then it will be quite clear whether something is a material new fact and the team will be able to be quite dispassionate about re-evaluating the decision.
So as a good exercise, next time you feel doubt about a decision, ask yourself if you are second guessing or if you are re-evaluating. And if you find yourself second guessing a lot, then it likely says something about problems with the decision making process (and potentially about your own fears).
Yet, certainly, the wise learn many things from their enemies; for caution preserves all things. From a friend you could not learn this, but your foe immediately obliges you to learn it. For example, the states have learned from enemies, and not from friends, to build lofty walls, and to possess ships of war. And this lesson preserves children, house, and possessions.
The present theory then must be considered to be a suggested program or framework for future research and must stand ...
It’s saying no.
That’s your first hint that something’s alive. It says no. That’s how you know a baby is starting to turn into a person. They run around saying no all day, throwing their aliveness at everything to see what it’ll stick to. You can’t say no if you don’t have desires and opinions and wants of your own. You wouldn’t even want to.
No is the heart of thinking.