Business Thinking

Ladder of Inference is a tool that the Sandler Group often uses to improve people’s leadership skills for business purpose. Many leaders have ineffective ways of thinking and that ladder is meant to illustrate them.

A common mistake is to make preassumptions based on previous experience when one just has incomplete (and sometimes wrong) information. Learning from experience is not wrong in itself but in such situations, it can lead to very harmful decisions. Leland Sandler writes steps of this way of thiniking on a ladder from the bottom to the top.

To prevent themselves from making such mistakes, leaders and team members should develop self-reflective thinking and inquiry, meaning that they critically re-examine their conclusions and the process of coming to them, both with quiet thinking and in debate with others.


It is obvious that in most situations, we can decide whether to get invloved or not. The first option usually means we are more likely to get the results we want. Leland calls passive approach »being at effect« and the active one »being at cause«. Being at cause is very important in business and in job interviews.


Leland believes hiring workers is a science and an art. He has noticed that CEOs tend to look for people who are similar to themselves. This certainly helps with their relationships but does not necessarily mean that such a worker is the best for his or her position. Good candidates have passion and energy, fit to the culture of their potential workplace and, of course, excel at the tasks they will have to perform.


Knowing right people takes you closer to your goals. Therefore, Leland organises events where he teaches networking. He emphasizes the role of social media, conferences and seminars.