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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Today's Big Idea: Wise Leadership

The Big Idea for Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Talk about gendered differences in leadership style – which may or may not exist to any significant degree – obscures the more valuable goal of determining through sober analysis and study of history which leadership styles and strategies work best in different circumstances. 

One thing that's clear to experts in negotiation – a forum in which leadership skills are severely and uniquely tested – is that a collaborative approach in which each side looks out for its interests while fully understanding those of the other partner works out much, much better for everybody than a zero-sum game. 

Instead of focusing on identifying elusive masculine or feminine leadership tendencies, we should be paying attention to what works, and disabusing ourselves of any misguided notions about "being in charge" that distract from that purpose. 




  1. 1 Wise Leadership Isn't a Gender Issue
    Jason Gots Women and Power
  2. 2 Negotiation Tips from a Hostage Negotiator
    Andrea Chalupa Purpose, Inc.
  3. 3 Lehman Sisters Wouldn't Have Failed
    John Cookson Women and Power
  4. 4 Gender, Education, and the Gender Gap: Blame It On the Kids?
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice

Today's Big Idea: Wise Lead...

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