• Frederic Peyrot

How To Decide

As a leader, your first job is to make key decisions, which will ripple throughout the organization.

But it is not so much about WHAT you decide but HOW you decide.

Your long term results are a factor of the sum of your decisions and chance. You want to maximize the impact of the former and while limiting the influence of the latter. But you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

What you decide along the way will sometimes have a positive outcome, while some other time, things won’t work as planned. But just looking at the outcome doesn't really say if you’ve made a good decision or not, since it doesn’t tell if the outcome was due to chance or the quality of your decision.

So instead you should try to assess the framework you used to make the decision then. That implies:

  1. Using a decision framework Good frameworks usually rely on some weighted decision criteria, seek to gather unknown information, taking advice from external people for instance. It also involves timing your decision and being aware of your mental state of the time of deciding.

  2. Keeping track of your decisions and decision process Many use some sort of decision journal to log that information.

  3. Having a feedback mechanism to review your (key) decisions every so often Now that you have some perspective, you can assess whether you picked relevant decision criteria, considered the relevant scenarios, or whether you were fooled by some cognitive biases.

How often do we fool ourselves, attributing to skills any positive outcome and to bad luck negative ones? And remember that you’re the easiest person to fool.

how to decide

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