May 18, 2022

There is no greater lever than making a conscious decision


My natural tendency is to optimize for speed.

To end the pain of deciding as soon as possible, without becoming plagued by regret over my marginally better options.

It’s just how my brain works. Act decisively, move quickly, and you can always make revisions later. For now, focus on moving the story forward and building momentum.

Now, the vast majority of the time, taking this approach lends itself to efficiently executing my ideas. It’s been good to me in my career.

But I’ve also discovered that a key part of this capability is knowing when to slow down your decision making velocity. Particularly if you’re taking the plunge to build something nobody’s ever tried before.

It’s a smart idea to measure twice and cut once. Doing so minimizes the chance of wasting time and money and material down the road.

If your intuition tells you that dropping down to a lower gear is the right move for the project, listen to it. If the voice within says, the bigger the decision, the larger the potential impact, so the longer the deliberation, go with it.

This isn’t about grasping at the ghost of certainty, planning everything within an inch of its life, or worrying about all of the things that could go wrong.

Remember, there is no greater lever than making a conscious decision. If you typically optimize for speed, and you’re building something nobody’s ever tried before, slow down your decision making velocity.

If this new thing is going to be as big as you think it is, give it its due deliberation first.

How long are you willing to drop down to a lower gear?