Kentucky Windage is a term from the American frontier. It refers to making an allowance for the wind when shooting, aiming slightly to the left or right to make up for the effect of whatever the prevailing breeze might be. Obviously, Kentucky Windage requires experience, judgment, and skill to be effectively applied.
It also can mean adjusting for a bad sight on the rifle, making an allowance for incorrect or slanted information, or inherent bias of the source.
I enjoy hearing in person or meeting a well-known personage. Forming an in-person impression gives me an idea of how much Kentucky Windage I should apply to the media-based impressions I must usually rely on.
We do real estate deals and proper due diligence is vital. I encourage a healthy skepticism, an unwillingness to accept too much at face value, a cheerful curiosity to dig a few levels deeper, to ask probing questions, to ask the same question of different people at different times, and to compare the answers. (And no feeding the answer: “Your partner said this. Do you agree?” obviously biases the answer, virtual guaranteeing the response will hew the company line.) I’m not from Missouri, the “Show Me” state. But I could easily be an adopted son.
Kentucky Windage means taking into account the surrounding conditions when making your judgments (aim). It means to allow for the possibility that those dispensing the information you are relying upon (your sights) may have their own agenda.
A little healthy skepticism is a great risk management tool. Its proper application could have avoided the dot com crash (when Wall Street analysts allowed eyeballs to substitute for profit), the real estate bubble (when people bought on “the greater fool than thou” theory), and the current sub-prime loan mess (no documents loans?).
Learn how to apply a bit of Kentucky Windage when the wind (hot air?) starts to blow a bit too briskly and you will avoid many pitfalls.