When you are the president of the United States, the stakes are always high, because you’re making monumental decisions that affect the lives of 328 million people.

Being guided by correct information, proper advice and transparency is incredibly important for a president, but it is also essential for any leader. Another trait — receptivity to challenge from someone with a different viewpoint — helps all leaders reexamine their perspectives and validate their choices.

Finding a leadership muse, someone who will be the last person to leave the room when you are contemplating a critical decision, is vital because new research suggests that the way in which we make decisions affects our ability to shift our mindset about those decisions over time.

Taly Reich of Yale University and Sam Maglio of the University of Toronto have studied how stubbornly we will defend a choice based on whether we made that choice rationally or emotionally. They set up seven experiments to examine this question and repeatedly found that the choices study participants were most likely to unwaveringly defend were choices where emotion or gut instinct drove the decision.

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