Surving the Recession is a Right-Brainer

Jeremy Grantham is one of those people that is often quoted in the financial press. He’s considered a visionary and was one of the people who warned that the sky was falling while guys like Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson snickered. He’s also known for giving his keen perception to his innate right-brain dominance.

Here’s what he told Forbes Magazine in January 2009 interview:

Please explain your theory of right- and left-brained CEOs, and how we keep choosing the wrong ones at the wrong times to lead American firms.
I think what I call the Great American Executive is always going to be good at dealing with crises after they’ve occurred. Always moving fast, focused, short-term-oriented at making decisions. Usually they’re short-term-oriented decisions. And he has a lot going for him or her. The weakness is that special outlier events are never, ever seen coming. They’re just not the kind of people that think along those lines. That’s a more creative, right-brained activity.

Okay simply what he’s talking about is the ability of right-brain dominant people to see the big picture–to know what’s coming. And the special outlier event he’s hinting at is what we’re experiencing now in our global economy. If you are right-brain dominant your chances of seeing what’s ahead, planning for it and coming out on top are greater.

Grantham has also been quoted to say the right-brain thinkers are better at long-term investing. While the left-brain people are suited for short-term actions and managing in the moment. Right-brainers can’t organize the papers on their desk.

But using your brain isn’t just for the head of the Treasury Department or CEOs. Right-brain thinkers can be more positive thinkers as well. And a positive outlook seems to be another key to coming out on top of a down economy. This article by USA Today gives examples of business that rose from the ashes of failures and layoffs.

If you don’t know which brain hemisphere is your dominant this test seems to be most academically used. And don’t worry, though something like 95% of the population is right-handed that doesn’t mean you are left-brain dominant. But even if you are, just hang out with a right-brain friend and you’ll be fine.

oh, P.S.: I’m a right-brainer, oh yeah!

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