Imagine you’re a pirate

Better your life through rigorous decisions

Imagine you’re a buccaneer and sail on the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Florida. You have a decision to make… what to do next?  You could go south to look for another Spanish treasure ship.  You could lay low, and replenish supplies, prepare for a better season.  Or you could go north, and pick on merchant ships off the coast of New England.  (Truth is, the buccaneers had their best luck off the coast of New England, then taking the goods south to be resold in the French colonies where supplies were low because the French Government only allowed licensed Catholic traders to bring goods to their colonies.)  How could you make the best decision? How could you plan for your future? The ship rocks back and forth like a time clock on the steady sea….

Imagine smell of the salty tropical waters, while you’re trying to decide, influences creep in and your mind tumbles pictures around…such as:   it’s warmer down south, there’s a pretty girl in the port, you have never had luck in Jamaica, but you have in Trinidad…., and you don’t like the storms that you’ve seen off the coast of Carolina, your men are tired and they complain a lot…., etc., etc., etc.  Your brain races, while bias and rationalization creep in…

What should you do?  You should follow a formal decision-making process and then go through a checklist of biases and ask yourself if you’re being subject to these biases.  A formal decision-making process, applied time after time, over your life, will eventually lead you to a better position and generate more wealth for you and your crew.

Here at Decide Best, we make decisions the way that the U.S. Army General Staff does – with a civilianized version of the Military Decision Making Process.  Over the next couple months, we’re going to walk through the civilian decision-making process and compare it to psychology texts on bias and rationalization, while we try to eliminate those from our analysis.  We’re going to talk in depth about General Patton, and how he won the Battle of the Bulge before it was fought, through good intelligence and great decisions.


Author: Mark O'Neill

Army Officer, Writer, Montanan, Product Manager 10 years active duty experience in the Army, switched over the Army Reserve. Information Operations and Intelligence Officer. Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Deployed to Korea and Honduras as well.

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