Leadership Matters: The 4 villains of decision-making

Here's what they look like and how to prevent them from taking you off course

Decisions are the fuel on which every organization runs. Even though we’re moving away from the old concept of leaders as “deciders” and employees as “doers,” the CEO still holds the key responsibility of making decisions that affect the entire group. This is one of his or her five responsibilities as chief executive.

Unfortunately, CEOs—like all humans—aren’t usually very good at making decisions.

In their book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Chip and Dan Heath explore our collective decision-making weaknesses as human beings. They describe what they call the “four villains of decision making”—narrow framing, confirmation bias, short-term emotion, and overconfidence about the future.

I think these four villains map particularly well to the way most CEOs approach decisions. Let’s see what they look like in action, and how we can keep them from leading us and our companies astray.

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