Barack Obama has these 2 tips for making decisions if you ever become president

Barack Obama has these 2 tips for making decisions if you ever become president

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a town hall of young leaders from across Europe at an Obama Foundation event in Berlin, Germany April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


  • Former US president Barack Obama said that when making a decision, it's helpful not to watch TV or read social media.
  • That's because those things create "a lot of noise and clouds your judgment," Obama said at a San Francisco event organized by tech company Splunk on Wednesday.
  • He also said it's important to have teams with a diversity of opinion to help with decision making and providing context.
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If you're president of the United States, Barack Obama has two important tips to help make good decisions.

The former US president spoke about his decision making process at a San Francisco event Wednesday organized by data analysis company Splunk.


First, Obama said, you should "make sure you have a team with a diversity of opinion sitting around you."

"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."

Obama spoke about how he entered office in the midst of the Great Recession. He said that it's been said that the presidency is like "drinking out of a firehose."


"That's doubly true when you're in the middle of a crisis," Obama said.

A president can't absorb all the information on their own when making a decision, so it's important to have teams to provide information and context about the problem, he said.

"Then what you have to do is create a process where you have confidence that whatever data is out there has been sifted and sorted," Obama said.


Obama said that there's so much information out there now, including "opinion wrapped up as fact" and clickbait, so it's important to filter through the noise.

"What it does mean is that if you are susceptible to worrying about what are the polls 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," Obama said.

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