Decisive: A Book Review

Decisive- A Book Review

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This book digs into the science and psychology of good and bad decision making. I chose this one for our challenge, this year, because leaders are always making decisions. We also help the youth we lead with their decisions too. The Heath brothers use the acronym WRAP to remember the different steps we can take to help us arrive at a good decision.
Widen your options
Reality-test your assumptions
Attain distance before deciding
Prepare to be wrong
Each of these steps is a chapter, with different techniques you can use for that step, plus several case studies to help you see what it looks like in real life.

Overall rating out of 5 stars

I give this one 4 stars. It may just be because I’m re-reading this, but it felt like it had more case studies than I needed or wanted to read.

Leadership Skill Lessons (5 out of 5 Stars)

As I mentioned earlier, leaders make a lot of decisions and some of them are tough. I really liked many of the strategies suggested in this book.
Find someone who’s solved your problem. Learning from someone who has been where you are can really help you put things in perspective.
Consider the opposite. With this one, you purposely seek out people who disagree with you and learn from their perspective.
Ooch. This is a funny word that means to implement only part of your decision or to make a small test run to try it out.
10/10/10 How will you feel about taking this action ten minutes after? 10 months after? 10 years after?

LDS Youth Leader Lessons

There are a couple takeaways from this that I have found very helpful when it comes to working with youth.
  1. Teenagers tend to make either/or decisions, which is as narrow as it gets when it comes to options. One thing that we can do for them is ask them to imagine one of those options is no longer available. Then, what would they do? This helps them to broaden their options.
  2. They shared a study that demonstrated that people are more likely to make a decision when they have enough options. Here’s what happened in their own words:

“One day, the store set up a sampling table with different kinds of jam, and customers loved it; another day, the store set up a table with 24 different kinds of jam, and it was even more popular than the first. The surprise came at the cash register. Customers who’d chosen among 6 jams where more likely to actually buy a jar of jam than customers who’d chosen among 24! It was fun to sample 24 flavors, it seems, but painful to pick among them. The choice was paralyzing.”

This is why when we plan activities, I always suggest 3-4 ideas when they get stuck. One idea is too narrow and they will simply make an either/or decision. A larger number can be too much to process and paralyze them. 

Now it’s your turn. Did you read Decisive? What stood out to you?


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