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January 6, 2006

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: Making Great Decisions in Business and Life

By: Jack @ 9:35 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Making Great Decisions in Business and Life
by David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper, Chicago Park Press, 287 Pages, $28.50 Hardcover, November 2005, ISBN 0976854104
In November "The Wall Street Journal" gave this book a good review; I hadn't heard of the publisher and during my research I discovered why. The book is self-published. I asked for a copy and was pleasantly surprised to see a rave quote from John C. Whitney, an author I respect. After reading the book, I have to agree with the WSJ. This book is the perfect combination of academic thought and practical application. The book is loaded with entertaining and realistic examples to support the authors' points and there is a graphical element--decision trees--throughout the book.
As they state:
Our central theme is that a little clear thinking goes a long way. This book will help you make great decisions in your business and in your life. In most of the situations you'll ever face, whether in your personal or business life, if you use some basic tools to clear your head you'll do better than if you don't. This book is your toolbox.

Nice and succinct, don't you think?
I hesitate to give away the main insights of the book but think they thoroughly demonstrate just how these guys are. Here are their insights:
  • Use powerful techniques to help think clearly

  • Think about what is really valuable to you

  • For something to change, something else must have changed. Ask what changed.

  • Know what you want before you choose

  • Watch out for biasesand we all have them

  • Realize what's important

  • Think about what is available to you, and then create better alternatives

  • Consciously choose the best alternative

  • Accept risk and learn to take account of it

  • Exploit life's inequalities, and in doing so, learn to appreciate non-linearity, balance, and proportionality

  • Get the right amount of information for any situation by first determining the value of information

  • Think simple

  • Discover arbitrage opportunities that help yourself and others, too

  • Do the right thing

Folks, this is a book that is the best of both worlds; it's full of practical advice and it's interesting. Honestly, I carried this book around with me and read it at every spare moment.
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