How do you decide?

Have you ever found yourself having to make a decision about whether to take on a new role, or whether to change careers?

I was surfing the web the other day when I came across this quote: "Clearly, Apple is following Sony’s lead by integrating consumer electronics devices into its marketing strategy, but Apple lacks the richness of Sony’s product offering. And introducing new consumer products right now is risky, especially if they cannot be priced attractively." The writer was referring to the first edition of the iPod. At the time the article was written, the iPod was $399 with a 5 Gig harddrive.

The article was written by one of the analysts from CNET – a large online consumer technology site — in October 2001.

Everyone has an opinion about what is and what is not going to be successful. I assume Steve Jobs did not take the opinion personally. You may be struggling with what to do or not to do. In most cases, your instincts are probably correct. Steve’s certainly were – Steve and his very capable team had done their homework, knew the pros and cons, and got feedback from the critics. Ultimately, they decided on a strategy that was based on the big picture.

In my research on this topic, I uncovered a study by Ap Diksterhuis, a professor of psychology at the University of Amsterdam. In his research concerning decision making, he determined that our subconscious (what we call our "gut") is much better at getting a sense of the bigger picture. Our conscious mind tends to "see" certain things.

Don’t underestimate your gut. I am not suggesting that you completely substitute research and in-depth analysis for a "gut feeling" — but it is important to listen to the voice inside.

Happy 5th Birthday iPod! Apple certainly hit the ball out of the park with that important decision. Meanwhile, back in Sony land, well, when’s the last time they had a hit?

By the way, if you have heard or you download Podcasts, get ready, details will follow very soon. CareerJoy has an exciting announcement to make!

This Week’s 10 Minute WORKout: What was the best decision you ever made? How did you go about making that decision?

Along the road with you,

Alan Kearns