3 Types of Decisions

There are three types of decisions.

First, the decisions that are easy to make. I’d peg this at 90%. They are easy to make either because you’ve made them before, or because there is a clear right-wrong dichotomy.

Second and third, the decisions that are hard to make. New situations, murky ethics, or decisions destined to disappoint someone no matter what. These are the other 10%.

90% of those (9% of the total), you wrestle with, and in time reach a conclusion. You might consult friends, family, trusted colleagues. And whether you make the right or wrong decision, you’ve now moved that situation into the easy category, because you’ll know what to do next time.

The last 1% are the decisions you shouldn’t make yourself. Too thorny, too difficult, with ramifications too difficult to foresee.

For these, you pass the decision to your superior. It’s rare, but it’s the right thing. For them, it will likely fall into their 90%.

This is why jobs at the peak of an organization are so fraught. Superintendent, CEO, president: by the time a decision belongs to them, it has fallen in the third category for multiple people.

Learn to recognize what kind of situations you’re in, and then approach your decision-making with eyes open.