The young man from rural Prince Edward Island had gotten a relatively well-paying job at the largest potato warehouse in Charlottetown. When he showed up at eight o’clock on his first morning on the job, the foreman took him to a remote area of the massive building where a pile of tens of thousands of potatoes stood beside a vacant area about the size of a football field. The foreman said, “All you have to do is sort that big pile into three piles: small, medium and large.” At ten-fifteen, when the foreman came to tell the young man he could take a break, he was surprised to see that the big pile was undisturbed and the empty area was still empty. Not one potato had been moved. There sat the young man, still holding in his hand the first potato that he had selected. He looked mournfully at the foreman and said, “I can’t make up my mind which size it is.”
The person who must be assured of the perfect result before deciding never decides.
Decisions can be no better than the information on which they are based.
Statistics are not a substitute for judgement.
When considering the consequences of an action, always factor in the consequences of inaction.
The two extremes must be avoided: unwarranted delay and impulsive decisions.
When pressured into making a quick decision always say no; it’s easier to change a no to a yes than vice versa.
Quick questions sometimes need slow answers; don’t rush a decision if there’s no reason to.
Decision is a scalpel that cuts clean; indecision is a dull knife that leaves ragged gashes.
Any decision you have to sleep on will probably keep you awake.
Sometimes you have to settle for the best result possible rather than the best possible result.
Simple solutions may not be best, but they should always be considered first.
There’s a difference between a prediction and a fantasy.
Decisions shouldn’t be made until emotions are in neutral.
When your gut and your brain suggest the same decision, it’s probably right.
Once a decision is made, your priority is to make it work.
You may not be able to control the results of a decision, but you can control the process of making it.
It would be a lot easier to make the right decisions if second thoughts came first.
Making decisions gets easier the more you do it.
There will always be risks, some acceptable and some unacceptable; know the difference.
Indecision is the father of worry and the mother of unhappiness.
Stay in the middle of the road too long and you’re going to get run over.
The wiser the decision the more likely it is to cause short-term displeasure for somebody.
When you really don’t know what to do, doing nothing might be the right decision.
The problem with polls is that some decisions shouldn’t be based on majorities.
Sometimes you have to spend as much time deciding how you’re going to communicate a decision as you do in making it
. Making decisions is a lot like playing cribbage; you have to know what to throw away; options that would result in outcomes you can’t live with should be discarded.
Ignoring facts doesn’t change them; reality has to be faced.
When you go somewhere you’ve never been before, you sometimes have to be there a while before you know whether it was the right decision.
Bad motives produce bad decisions.
People who can make decisions get better jobs than those who can just recite facts.
When making a decision, it’s good to remember that your personal experiences may not be typical of the population as a whole.
Timely decisions and quick decisions aren’t necessarily the same thing; fit the timing to the circumstances.
Even good people sometimes make bad decisions.
Don’t pick a side until you understand the issue.
There’s a difference between opinions and facts.
It’s not what you would like to have that matters; it’s what you actually have that has to be dealt with.
When facing a tough issue it’s likely that if there were an obvious decision it would already have been made.
Always guard against the worst that can happen.
No one has always been right.
Even if you’re having trouble deciding what to do, at least decide what you don’t want to do.
Stare at anything long enough and it’ll start making faces at you.
Although it can often lead to one, a compromise isn’t always a solution.
Concentrate too much on your back-up position and you may end up needing it.
No matter which road you take you’re going to miss something, so don’t waste time wishing you’d taken the other one.
When you don’t have a clue, go with your gut.
Decisions should never be based on who’s tugging at your sleeve.
Decisions made solely on assumptions are dangerous, it’s always better to assure than to assume.
To be most useful facts must be current.
Don’t act while there is still time for deliberation.