Book Review: Decisive


Making big decisions can often prove difficult. Right answers don't always show themselves. We agonize. We act irrationally. We have way more confidence than we should.

In their previous books, Chip and Dan Heath tackled communications theory (Made to Stick) and habits (Switch). In Decisive, they tackle decision-making.

They start with the things that derail good decision-making. Carefully and insightfully, they frame the problem in a way that makes sense. I found myself saying "I do that" and "I totally do that too" as I was reading. When the time came to read their model to help us make better decisions, I was on the hook. 

The model is simple:
  • Widen your options
  • Reality-test your assumptions
  • Attain distance before deciding
  • Prepare to be wrong
WRAP. (Those Heath brothers love their acronyms)

The Heath brothers do a wonderful job presenting their model in a way that makes it easy to apply to real life. They sift through tons and tons of research and boil it down to four very important nuggets. In that way, this book is remarkable.

They illustrate the book with examples drawn from business and from their consulting work. The illustrations do their work. They make the concepts clear. But they also reveal that the Heath brothers are researchers rather than storytellers. Compared to Malcolm Gladwell, their material is more helpful but slightly less engaging.

The book is definitely worth checking out.

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