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The worst decision is no decision

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I used to really struggle with decision making. I was scared of making the wrong choice. Of things going wildly wrong and looking like an idiot.

This often led to analysis paralysis. Which, at best, slowed progress and annoyed team members. At worst, it led to missed deadlines and opportunities.

Then one day, a smart colleague shared this great Theodore Roosevelt quote with me:

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

Theodore Roosevelt, US President

It didn’t solve my problems over night. But it did push me to make swifter decisions.

Now, as time goes on, I’m getting better at decision-making. I’ve made some mistakes, but none of them have been as bad I might have feared. And I’ve managed to progress further than I would have otherwise.

Because, if we make quick decisions and get the majority right, then the momentum gains will exceed the losses of the mistakes.

And the reality is that many decisions are reversible. And wrong choices can usually be rectified without much harm.

There are times when deep analysis and an abundance of caution is justified (e.g. when risking genuinely catastrophic consequences such as death).

But they’re much rarer than our fears would lead us to believe.

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