Photograph by Julia Soler.

There’s one area of life where most of us are uniquely good at going slow—decision-making. Or as this week’s guest, Scott Belsky, puts it: “The most common decision we make is not to make a decision.”


For those unfamiliar with his work, Scott is an investor and an entrepreneur, who co-founded Behance and led the company for seven years until its acquisition by Adobe for $150 million in 2013. He also wrote the insightful bestselling book Making Ideas Happen, and is hard at work on a new book about entrepreneurship, due out in 2018.

We dig into why good and bad decisions are equally useful, the role that “merchandising” decisions plays in a leadership context, and why—when it comes to creative decisions in particular—it’s always wise to trust your gut.

Key takeaways from the conversation:

  • Why making a decision is the start (not the finish) of great idea execution
  • How introverts and extroverts differ in their decision-making styles
  • Why “executing shyly” is the primary driver of bad decisions
  • How quick decisions can be more powerful (and relaxed) than wise decisions
  • Why instinct matters more than data when it comes to creative decisions
  • How to align your career with your personal decision-making style

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Favorite Quotes

“When we make a decision, whether it’s good or bad, at least it’s motion. That motion is what moves us forward. Ironically, whether that motion is in the right or wrong direction, at least it’s giving us some better visibility of the terrain around us and helping us learn.”

“Part of my brain is always processing uncertainty. There’s this 10% of my RAM that I attribute to the decisions that I make ultimately. It’s a very expensive process to run though, because you’re never truly present anywhere.”

“Especially when it comes to making a decision that will distinguish you from the pack, inherently, the obvious data is not there to back that decision up, or else everyone would have already made it.”

Resources

A quick list of various psychological concepts and strategies that Scott and I touch on:

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