Decisive By Chip Heath

I love something that Tim Grover says about relentless people. As one of The Relentless 13 he says, “You make decisions, not suggestions.” With that in mind, I wanted to learn from this book and about this book. We all make thousands of decisions every day and I wanted to understand ways to improve the effectiveness of those.

The first thing that I took note of was a way to evaluate potential decisions. A pro and con list is not the best way to go. If we only make a pro and con list we might miss out on an opportunity that could be much greater than the pros on the list that we made. As the author said, that creates a narrow frame. As a result, I now look to evaluate an option but also look at the opportunity cost and the other potential opportunities.

Benjamin Franklin making a pros and cons list: striking out the pros and cons after identifying their respective weights to determine the end testily and the ultimate conclusion creates a narrow frame.

What people look for in others is not always the truth. Most people do not want to hear that the reason they failed a test was because they didn’t study enough, they’d rather hear the reassuring, “Ohoh you gave it your best.” Honesty, however, is much more impactful and provides better positioning in the long run.

People seek reassurance and not always honesty.

Without the right people around us, we may get stuck in a mindset. The author shared the following of seeking out multiple options:

Seeking out multiple options is often hard. We tend to get stuck in a thinking of prevention OR promotion.

I loved the example that the author shared about the CEO of GM. If everyone agrees, it makes sense that all discussion should be postponed. Jeff Bezos is known for starting some meetings with 30 minutes of silence to allow everyone to read the briefings and become informed. I believe that effective conversation best happens when people are not all in agreement and share differing views.

Seek out disagreement: The longtime CEO of GM, Alfred Sloan, said, “gentlemen, I take it we’re all in complete agreement?” All the committee members nodded. Then he responded, “I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps some understanding of what this decision is about.”

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This is an approach that I highlighted to foster teamwork and ultimately, the best results. Ensuring that everyone is on the same team is very important and I think that this is a great way to do so. By encouraging everyone present to work together to create ideas that should lead to the implementation of the best option.

“Let’s stop arguing and take time and determine what needs to happen for each decision to be the right one.” This will turn adversaries into collaborators.

I really liked this idea and think that it would indeed provide a more full picture of the person that the company potentially hires. Also, the references initially provided will likely have more good things to say about the person and the second layer of references might give a more full picture.

When hiring someone, asking the provided references for an additional person will provide better reference.

This is one of the most important things that I got out of this book. It has definitely helped me make quicker decisions.

Think about decisions with 10,10,10. How will I feel about the decision in: 10 minutes 10 months 10 years.

This final point that I bookmarked was also an idea that I particularly liked. There are many things that we could do in this one life that we are given. We never know when our last day and I think that this is a great way to live. As John Maxwell has said, “We cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” There are a few things that matter in life and those are the things that we should always give our time and energy to.

Create a stop doing list, like Jim Collins. If you inherited $20 million or if you learned you had 10 years to live.

This book taught me some great things about decisions and decision making. I loved the actionable takeaways and the things that I have implemented as a result have definitely increased the effectiveness of my decisions.

I gave this book a 3.5/5

To read this book, get it here

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