Making Better Decisions

Successful people are decisive people. When opportunities come their way, they evaluate them carefully, make a decision, and take appropriate action.

They know that indecision wastes time that could be spent on more productive tasks. They also avoid unnecessary risks by implementing their decisions gradually. They do not attempt to make every decision at the beginning. Each action is contingent upon the success of the one that precede it.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the wisest men, is said to have used a simple method to make difficult decisions. He drew a line down the center of a sheet of paper, and on one side he listed “pro” of the decision, on the other, he listed “cons.” This simple graphic illustration showed the advantages and disadvantages of any decision, regardless of its complexity. The impact of the decision could then be quickly and easily assessed.

How will you be making better decisions today?

This post presents a modified version of Franklin’s process. If you’d like to read Franklin’s letter to Priestley, click here.

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. John Hunter

    22. Nov, 2009

    I think the most important thing you can do to make better decisions is to learn from your decisions. It sounds easy, but very few people do so effectively. The best strategy to do this is to predict the results of your decisions. Write down those predictions. Then analyze the results. Failing to do this leads most people to fail to learn from there decisions. It is hard to improve when you don’t learn.

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