Credit unions, pull that trigger!

The problem with decisions is knowing when to pull the trigger.

We live in a world where there’s always another article to read. Another chart to decipher. Another piece of data to analyze. What if we make a bad decision because we didn’t wait for that missing piece of data?

A recent article ( I read argues that we over-analyze things far too often. Fact finding and due diligence suffers from the laws of diminishing returns. The article points to the 80/20 rule.


The 80/20 Rule is pervasive in our world:

  • 80% of traffic jams occur on 20% of roads.
  • 80% of beer is consumed by 20% of drinkers.
  • 80% of classroom participation comes from 20% of students.
  • 80% of profits come from 20% of customers.

Applying the 80/20 Rule to your thinking can help you make smarter, faster, more intuitive decisions.

In most situations, you can gather 80 percent of the relevant information in the first 20 percent of the time available. Generally, the remaining 20 percent of the data (which  would take the remaining 80 percent of your time to obtain) would not substantially improve the quality of your decision… 

If this sounds familiar, I’ve written about this before. I’ve referenced Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink,” which sings the praises of trusting your gut instincts. And it is “rule number 7” in my 10 irrefutable laws of management.

  1.  A well-delivered, imperfect decision often beats an additional week of deliberation. Management involves making decisions.  We all want a piece of data that says “You Shall Do This, And Nothing Bad Shall Happen.”  But that data rarely exists.  And if it did, why do you think an additional week of research would uncover it?  Perhaps.  But my experience says that the decision often isn’t the key to success. It is the effective execution of that decision.  So make up your mind, but spend some extra time to make sure your decision comes to life.  And if you don’t like decisions as a manager, you’re dining at the wrong restaurant. For ye shall dine on decisions as long as ye sit where ye sit.  

So go ahead. Pull the trigger. Make the decision.

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone is executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). Demangone oversees day-to-day operations and manages the association’s education, membership, ... Web: Details