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Truth About Making Smart Decisions, The

Truth About Making Smart Decisions, The

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  • Copyright 2008
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-501654-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-501654-1

This is the eBook version of the printed book. If the print book includes a CD-ROM, this content is not included within the eBook version.

Praise for
The Truth About Making Smart Decisions

The Truth About Making Smart Decisions offers a truly valuable and entertaining journey through the complex terrain of decision making. Robert Gunther combines a writer's gift of the pen with a keen understanding of human nature, drawing upon his own experiences, business anecdotes, and vignettes from other walks of life. His selection of traps, insights, and truths are edifying as well as amusing, and many readers will recognize themselves as he exposes our weaknesses, and occasional brilliance, as we carve the trajectory of our life one decision after the next.”

Paul J. H. Schoemaker, Ph.D., coauthor of Decision Traps and Winning Decisions

“Robert Gunther crystallizes years of expertise and insight in business writing into a book on probably life’s most important matter: decision making. How do you do it and how do you do it much better? He offers many tools to organize the mind and maximize your ability to be a leader and money maker.

Rick Rickertsen, Managing Partner of Pine Creek Partners and author of The Buyout Book and Sell Your Business Your Way

“We make decision errors predictably, and Robert Gunther offers fifty ways of taking decisions more intelligently. The Truth About Making Smart Decisions is a concise and actionable guide for what to consider when facing critical choice points.”

Michael Useem, Ph.D., Wharton Professor of Management and author of The Go Point: When It’s Time to Decide

“If you think decision making is cut and dried, this book will make you think again. In The Truth About Making Smart Decisions, Robert Gunther offers challenging insights on how factors from sleep to intuition to emotions to mental models affect the quality of our decisions. He urges readers to take a broader view and raises issues that anyone should consider in making smarter decisions.”

Yoram (Jerry) Wind, Ph.D., The Lauder Professor and Wharton Professor of Marketing, and coauthor of The Power of Impossible Thinking

Everything you need to know to make smarter, better decisions—in business and in life!

• The truth about learning from your mistakes and those of others

•  The truth about how sleep can help you make better decisions

•  The truth about the power of acting decisively

This book brings together 50 powerful “truths” about making better decisions: real solutions for the tough challenges faced by every decision-maker, in business and in life. You'll discover how to systematically prepare to make better decisions...how to get the right information, without getting buried in useless data...how to minimize your risks, and then act decisively...how to handle your emotions...make better group decisions...profit from mistakes...and a whole lot more. This isn't "someone's opinion": it's a definitive, evidence-based guide to effective decision-making...a set of bedrock principles you can rely on no matter what kind of decisions you make!

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Preface  ix

Introduction  x

Part I         The Truth About Preparing for Decisions

Truth 1       Before a major decision, get some Z’s  1

Truth 2       Act from a state of clarity  3

Truth 3       If you can’t get distance, get perspective  7

Truth 4       Keep it real  11

Truth5        Use a systematic process  15

Truth 6       Know your decision-making style  19

Part II        The Truth About Why Bad Decisions Are Good

Truth 7       To make better decisions, make more mistakes  23

Truth 8       Be prepared to profit from your mistakes  27

Truth 9       Learn from your close calls  29

Truth 10     Learn from the decisions of others  33

Truth 11     Don’t judge your decisions based on their outcome  35

Truth 12     Leave yourself room to get back from the pole  39

Part III       The Truth About the Limits of Your Mind

Truth 13     Understand common “decision traps”  43

Truth 14     Giving up something? Get over it!  47

Truth 15     It’s possible to miss an entire gorilla  51

Truth 16     You may see only what you’re looking for  53

Truth 17     You’re not as clever as you think you are  57

Truth 18     Your view of the world depends on what planet you’re from  61

Truth 19     Beware of seeing patterns that aren’t there  65

Truth 20     Different is not always better  69

Part IV       The Truth About Complex Decisions

Truth 21     Boil knowledge down to its essence–and then act on it  71

Truth 22     Decisions are not snapshots but movies  75

Truth 23     No decision is an island  79

Truth 24     Build the city around your decision  83

Part V        The Truth About Data

Truth 25     Listen for the dog that doesn’t bark  85

Truth 26     Sorry, Joe Friday. The facts are never “just the facts.”  89

Truth 27     Recognize the power of intuition  91

Part VI       The Truth About Acting Decisively

Truth 28     The wrong decision is better than none at all  95

Truth 29     Get 80 percent (or less) of what you need, and then act on it  99

Truth 30     Every decision carries risk. Get used to it.  103

Truth 31     Not making a decision is a decision  107

Part VII      The Truth About Decisions in Groups

Truth 32     Two heads can be worse than one  111

Truth 33     Use constructive conflict  115

Truth 34     Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself  119

Truth 35     Make decision roles clear  123

Truth 36     Break free from the prisoner’s dilemma  127

Part VIII     The Truth About Emotions

Truth 37     A little adrenaline can be a good thing  131

Truth 38     Understand the impact of emotions  135

Truth 39     Beware of the attractive new shortcut  139

Part IX      The Truth About Ethical Decision Making

Truth 40     Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want seen on YouTube  143

Truth 41     There are no quiet corners safe from scrutiny  145

Truth 42     To know where you’re going, know where you stand  149

Truth 43     Don’t let power or ego sway you from your course  153

Part X       The Truth About Big Decisions

Truth 44     Lower the costs of failure  157

Truth 45     Break down big decisions into smaller ones  161

Truth 46     Don’t forget the screwdrivers  165

Part XI      The Truth About Moving On

Truth 47     Keep your eye on the long term  169

Truth 48     Belief in your decision can make it come true  173

Truth 49     Keep a sense of humor  177

Truth 50     Don’t look back  181

Additional Resources  183

References  184

About the Author  188


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