How to Make Decisions Like a Leader

Poor decisions are often about human frailty, not logic, situations, and information.

You’ll continue making poor decisions until you acknowledge the human-frailty-factor. More information doesn’t solve decision-fatigue, for example.

 

Decision fatigue:

The quality of decisions goes down as the day wears on if you are making many decisions. Research shows a parole board’s decisions dropped from 65% favorable to nearly 0% over a short time span of decision-making.

Human frailties cause poor decisions.

5 ways to deal with human frailty:

  1. Take breaks.
  2. Eat snacks.
  3. Stand and stretch.
  4. Go for a short walk.
  5. Take a nap.

7 decision-making tips:

#1. Decide what you want before reacting to a person or situation.

Decide where you want to go, before you begin the race.

#2. Don’t give yourself an escape hatch. If you create an escape hatch, you’ll use it.

#3. Forget the decision for a few minutes.

Sigal Barsade, leadership@wharton, demonstrates that a few minutes of meditation enables better decision-making.

  • Breathe-in for a count of three.
  • Hold it for a count of one.
  • Breathe-out for a count of five.

Do the above for as little as two minutes. Now, make your decision.

#4. Be a learner more than a knower.

The belief that you’re an expert closes your mind. Read, “Rookie Smarts,” by Liz Wiseman.

#5. Determine the purpose and scope of the decision.

  • What’s at stake?
  • Who is impacted?

#6. Test your gut because intuition is often wrong. Read, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman.

#7. Forget sunk-cost.

You tend to continue a losing course of action because you’ve invested time, energy, or money. Sunk-cost should never be the reason you continue a losing course of action.

Best decision-making advice:

Learn and adapt as you go.

Best decision-making book:

Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

What decision-making tips seem most important?

What decision-making suggestions might you add?