Make a Decision

Advice from one of the greatest leaders and decision-makers
of our time: General Norman Schwarzkopf.
NormanSchwarzkopf
As a young man, Schwarzkopf worked as an assistant to a general.
At one point, the general was involved in a research project that the
Pentagon was working on. For five years, no decisions had been made
on how to implement the project. There were two options available, but
no one had been able to choose between them.
After an hour-long meeting about the project, the general simply stood up, pointed at one
of the options, and said, “That one!” After just one hour, he was able to make the decision
that no one had been able to make up until then.
Later, Schwarzkopf asked the general how he had made that decision in only an hour,
when everyone else involved in the project was so uncertain and there were reams and
reams of research that he hadn’t seen. The general told Schwarzkopf that, truthfully, no
one knew what the right decision was, but he knew that action needed to be taken. “The
option I chose will be right,” he said, “because we’ll put all of our resources into it and
make it right. Or, if it turns out to be wrong, we’ll discover that quickly and do what needs
to be done to go in the right direction.”

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