Why "Second-Order Thinking"?

A passionate leader who cares about building high-performing teams? Here is a different version of this page for you.

If you have never heard about the mental model of second-order thinking you can drastically improve your decision making skills. This in turn will make your life much easier by sky-rocketing both your career and income.

What difference would it make for you personally if you could:

  • get a raise for being a high performer
  • build a great career and get the job/role you love
  • focus on what truly matters all the time
  • deliver everything expected of you on or ahead of time
  • spend more time with your family

How would it impact your life? Your family?

You wouldn't trust builders without appropriate equipment to build your dream house, would you? Then why rely on luck when building your own career without the right tools?

You see, second-order thinking is a crucial mental model that makes your life so much easier. Let's see how you can use this tool to build a better life.

What Is Second-Order Thinking?

Second-Order Thinking is a mental model used by top achievers and their staff. Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk use this invaluable decision making tool daily. Intrigued? Either explore a detailed explanation of how second order thinking works or review the summary infographic below:

How Can It Help Me?

Now, if you are asking "What's in it for me?" you are doing the right thing!

Because if you use this principle when making daily decisions it's guaranteed your performance and wellbeing will improve dramatically. And you will be grateful to yourself for doing so!

To prove this point let's look at a specific example. And guess what? Who said that training must be academic and boring? Let's make it fun & engaging so it's easy to remember and apply in the workplace, business, and daily life.

Upskill Yourself In Minutes

Let's use the "Second-Order Thinking" module from our peak performance training for individuals platform to demonstrate how any person can be upskilled in just 15 minutes or less without being bored and without being distracted from their main duties...

Is This Really Happening?
James will never forget the rainy night of Tuesday, 25 April 2023. He was just informed that the Z-37 mission will launch in exactly 12 months as planned despite his multiple requests to postpone the launch. He knows the crew stand no chance of surviving the whole flight without the shielding technology project completed.

How did they get there? What happened?

Let's rewind the story 12 months back...

Having spent the last 2 years in the space radiation research team, Jasmine completely overwhelmed herself with tasks and responsibilities. One of the areas she struggles with is writing effective emails. No one likes reading her "war and piece" messages without clear structure. Including her manager James Newton.

Because as the head of the Human Performance Team he is completely overwhelmed. In addition to numerous (and often ineffective) meetings James has to handle approximately 950 emails a day. And quite a few of them are of critical importance for the success of the whole mission.

The truth is, approximately 97% of all emails he gets are completely unactionable long texts with multiple unrelated messages inside and without a clear purpose. That's why he often ignores Jasmine's long and unactionable emails.

The manager mentioned once that Jasmine's email writing skills must be improved if she wants him to read them. She felt very offended and went defensive so he never bothered again to bring this up. And Jasmine didn't take the recommendation seriously.

The fist-order consequence felt nice...
Let's stop for a moment here and get back to the mental model of second-order thinking.

Can you see how Jasmine's decision to not action James' recommendation is nothing else as the first-level consequence? And it's a good one! She is already busy, so doing nothing feels great.

It's critical to understand that almost all bad long-term decisions have immediate positive consequence. But this way of thinking without taking into account long-term impact is completely flawed. Let's see what happens next...

Not using second-order thinking backfired badly
The busy engineer has been sending poorly written emails for a long time now without realizing the true cost of not improving her skills. What she failed to notice is that James has been already overwhelmed himself for quite a while now due to immense pressure. She didn't have a clue he was ignoring everyone's poor written emails, not just hers.

That's where the second order consequences start to kick in! Having made incorrect assumptions Jasmine has become disengaged. Ambushed by her own negative thoughts, she starts gossiping and spreading her frustrations with the rest of the team. It's getting toxic by the minute. Can you see where it's going on? Big deal? Oh yeah. Let's see how it snowballs from here.

On a beautiful Christmas Eve she finally reaches the boiling point while observing her daughter unwrapping the gifts. "Enough is enough!" she screams ferociously. "I quit!". And so she does.

Can you spot a few third-order consequences here?

  • feeling guilty for no reason leads to a low self-esteem
  • team morale is at the lowest point ever
  • broken relationships due to a divided team (some members are not on her side)

And let's not forget about James because it's not just about Jasmine. Her manager is not in a good place as well as his team is completely disfunctional. What about his family?

But does it stop here? What about the 4-th order consequences? Such as derailed career, financial hardships, uhappy family, and gaining extra weight due to emotional eating? Lost opportunities due to broken relationships? Even new enemies for the rest of her life!

By the way, in our blockbuster training program for individuals the whole crew is at risk of not surviving the space trip and accomplishing an unprecedented mission. Why? Because James finally overlooked a critical warning from Jasmine having ingnored another poorly written email. And that's the 5-th order consequence.

The question is...

Can they turn it around? Or is it too late? Will the astronauts be safe?

And This Is Just The Beginning...

If you liked this training on second-order thinking you will be pleased to know we are just scratching the surface here. Because we have so much more for you.

And it's all wrapped in our innovative learning platform with interactive, engaging, micro learning modules that people love going through without being distracted from their main work responsibilities.

Imagine yourself becoming an irreplaceble team member and getting a raise by watching and interacting with the blockbuster movie? By falling in love with the main characters? By delivering better results through entertainment...

Here is how the story unfolds...

Team "Treasure" is assigned a simple interstellar mission. Their goal is to deliver a cargo to a galaxy far, far away...

On the 27-th of January 2047 mission specialist Jessica Smith accidentally discovers that 37 towns were completely wiped out in "preparation" for their departure. 278,000 people went missing. The three major rivers in the US, China, and India dried up overnight. With absolutely zero coverage in the media. No single mention in social networks either.

They have to go through a lot of challenges along the way both on Earth and in space. The only way of them to save the planet is to unite, transform to incredible performers, and to work as a well-oiled team...

They make mistakes and they fail. But they keep going. They become more resilient. They develop a growth mindset. They learn to communicate better and to make better decisions faster. They become incredible achievers.

Can they accomplish the mission?

What IS the mission?

Sounds Interesting?

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