A leader’s most important job is making good decisions.
Step back and improve yours:
- Consider several options. By considering only one job candidate, you rationalize away the negatives because you want it to work out. By laying out various possibilities, you see a bigger picture.
- Think objectively. For personal decisions, ask: “What would I tell my best friend to do?” For business decisions, ask: “If I were replaced tomorrow and a wise person took my place, what would he or she do?”
- Be fair. With so much data available, it’s easy to make a case for your gut feeling. Build opposition into your decision-making. In a high-stakes situation, assign a team preparing the case to do something and a team preparing the case not to.
- Curb your enthusiasm. Leaders tend to be overconfident, so use a “premortem,” in which you ask your people, “OK, we just made a decision. Let’s pretend it’s a year from now and it turned into a disaster. What happened?”
— Adapted from Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Chip and Dan Heath, Crown Business.