Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been baffled by some decisions people make. Quite often I say to myself, “What Were You Thinking?”

Dogs making bad decisions, like getting a head stuck in a cat door, now that’s understandable. But managers and leaders have something dogs don’t have, the “ability to reason.” At least that’s what I learned in biology class.

A few weeks ago I watched Jamie Dimon’s interview on C-SPAN after Joe Leddy recommended it to me. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase and is a great example of a competent leader. Given how most of us feel right now about leadership incompetence, Dimon is a breath of fresh air. Even if you only watch a few minutes, you will quickly see how Dimon oozes common sense.

AP Photo of Jamie Dimon

Common sense, a commodity in short supply these days, is at the center of good decision-making. Dimon in his interview offers five suggestions for making good decisions and I have added five other tips I use.

Ten tips for making good decisions.

  1. Never make a decision when you are angry. (Dimon)
  2. Never make an important decision on a Friday. Wait until Monday. (Dimon)
  3. Never make a decision when the wrong people are in the room. (Dimon)
  4. Never make an important decision when you have the wrong people on the team, execution will fail. (Dimon)
  5. Never promote someone you wouldn’t work for. (Dimon)
  6. Don’t promote someone into a leadership role you wouldn’t want at your Thanksgiving table. (Ryan Mountain)
  7. Don’t make a decision when your choice “is the lesser of two evils”; find another solution. (Steve)
  8. Never make a decision solely because it is the lowest cost. (Steve)
  9. Never make an important decision mostly because you like the person presenting. (Steve)
  10. Never make an important decision when you lack information and are up against the clock. Get a new clock. Sometimes making no decision will get you a better outcome. (Steve)

I hope these tips help you or someone else you know make better business and leadership decisions.

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