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Making high-quality decisions

Chase Damiano
3 min read
Making high-quality decisions

Our lives become the sum of our decisions. Each decision we make puts intent into action, and the story of our lives is the consequence of our daily decisions.

And we’re faced with an overwhelming 35,000 decisions per day—from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the words to type in this very paragraph. We do it all because we decide to.

Business leaders are no exception, taxed with envisioning every little detail of our business strategy, revenue model, operations, product, and much, much more. Every aspect of our business feels like it needs our direct input. Exhausting much?

But as an organization grows, two important things happen:

(1) the volume of decisions inside the business increases, and

(2) the complexity of decision-making increases.

More traction, more employees, more opportunity, more errors.

In this week’s article, I dive into how to increase the quality of your decision-making in light of growing complexity, specifically by exploring various decision-making processes, and more importantly, getting over fears of making decisions in the absence of perfect information.

tl;dr / You’re going to make wrong decisions. A lot. Manage your bets accordingly, learn lessons, and move forward with non-attachment.

My Take

There are plenty of ways to make decisions and plenty of things and emotions to consider. In my experience, learning to decipher your emotions, and then delegate the considerations and decisions of less important initiatives, gives you and your organization the best chance for growing in alignment with your vision. Here’s how.

Read more: How Decision Frameworks and Self-Reflection Lead to Better Decisions

Research Take

1 / Dr. Joel Hoomans, Assistant Professor of Management and Leadership Studies at Roberts Wesleyan College, recommends that strategic leaders prioritize decisions relative to the impact those decisions have—both immediately and compounded over time—including a faith-based decision-making style. (Roberts Wesleyan is a Christian college and publishes through that lens.)

Learn more: 35,000 Decisions: The Great Choices of Strategic Leaders

2 / Decision-making quality and willpower decline as mental fatigue increases, and mental fatigue can be directly tied to glucose availability. The more decisions you make, the more your willpower decreases, the lower your blood sugar, the worse your decision-making quality. Social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister writes, “Even the wisest people won’t make good choices when they’re not rested and their glucose is low.”

Learn more: Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

Founder’s Take

1 / Farnam Street shares perspective on a framework on how to quickly prioritize the types of decisions to focus on, comparing consequence to reversibility. The gist: Delegate inconsequential decisions, and as a leader, focus on consequential, irreversible decisions.

Read: The Decision Matrix: How to Prioritize What Matters

2 / Tim Ferris shares a framework to overcome your fear of a decision by defining the worst case scenarios, how to prevent or mitigate each one, and how to repair the damage if the worst case happens, and then clarifying the benefits of an attempt or partial success. Most important? Defining the cost of inaction. What does life or my business look like if I do nothing?

Watch: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

3 / In reflecting on making better decisions in tandem with company growth, Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, shares four key takeaways on The Knowledge Project podcast:
(1) Make more decisions with less confidence but in less time.

(2) Don’t treat all decisions uniformly.

(3) Make fewer overall decisions.

(4) Dig into others’ decision-making processes.

Listen: Earning Your Stripes

How do you strengthen team culture in a fully virtual workspace? All companies have had to think quickly to overcome obstacles set by the pandemic. One particular company, ignite, the boutique brand and digital marketing agency founded by Jeff Rum, did this exceptionally well. Talk about making some smart and fast decisions!

I recently interviewed Jeff to hear what he had to say about leading teams to success through uncertain times, and how he’s still learning and growing as a leader. Check it out below!

Watch or Read: The Power of Syncing Up, with ignite CEO Jeff Rum

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