Decision Making Books

Updated on January 4, 2024
Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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Top 10 Decision-Making Books [Updated 2023]

Decision-making is the most critical element of any business. If you are running a business or have been involved in business for some time, you would know that decision-making is the top three skills you must have to reach the top 1%. Below is the list of top books on decision-making that you must read in 2023:

  1. Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work  ( Get this book )
  2. The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking (The Tschäppeler and Krogerus Collection)  ( Get this book )
  3. Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions  ( Get this book )
  4. Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions   ( Get this book )
  5. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions  ( Get this book )
  6. Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions  ( Get this book )
  7. Effective Decision-Making: How to make better decisions under uncertainty and pressure  ( Get this book )
  8. Decision Making For Dummies  ( Get this book )
  9. What’s Your Decision?: How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity  ( Get this book )
  10. Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills  ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each decision-making book in detail and its key takeaways and reviews.

Decision Making Books

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#1 – Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work

by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

This book will help you enormously if you have been perplexed between two decisions. First, have a look at the review and best takeaways.

Book Review

  • This decision-making book is recommended for you if you have to make many objective decisions daily. Heath brothers mentioned that while making every decision, we go through a typical 4 step process. First, we make a choice. Then, we analyze our options. Then we make a choice and finally live with the choice. Even if this 4 step process seems logical, there are self-serving biases and overconfidence that hinder making the right choice. This book will show you how to gallop these hindrances.
  • This best decision-making book will light on issues that bother us daily. For example, when we are overconfident (but don’t know it), we seek information that supports us and neglect the information that may say otherwise.

Key Takeaways

The best part of this book is a four-step process called WRAP:

  • Widen your options while making decisions
  • Go for a real test that can question your assumptions
  • Attain distance from the options (step back and think over)
  • Prepare yourself to face any mistakes in decision making

Using this decision-making book, we can answer questions that would make us anxious throughout the day. For example, you can understand why you agonize over your decisions, why group decisions are mostly biased, how you can make sure that you can tap into the right opportunities, and so on.

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#2 – The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking (The Tschäppeler and Krogerus Collection)

by Roman Tschäppeler, Mikael Krogerus & Jenny Piening

Decision Book

Book Review

  • You need models to make a resource box. Grab this best decision-making book if you want to get a collection of 50 models that will allow you to become a better decision-maker. For example, you will learn the Eisenhower matrix to use your time well and a less familiar, much more useful model, “the Swiss Cheese Model.” You will also learn “the flow model,” “the network target model,” “the personal potential trap,” and many more.
  • Let’s say you need to make a quick decision and don’t have any mental model handy. Just look at this book as a reference, and you will quickly be able to use one of the conceptual frameworks given in the book. This book will help you make good decisions quickly.

Key Takeaways

  • Many books have talked about one or two processes of decision-making. This top decision-making book covers 50 distinct models, allowing you to expand your thinking and hover over many elements you may not have thought about before.
  • It is a how-to book, and if you grab this, it will get answers to four questions:
    • How to improve yourself?
    • How to improve others?
    • How to understand yourself?
    • How to understand others?
<< Get this book >>

#3 – Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

by Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Book Review

  • It is a fascinating book on decision-making written completely from a different perspective.
  • Are you open enough to apply if computer algorithms could create metaphors for your decision-making abilities? This book looks at decision-making from the same standpoint. You will find solace in this book even if you are not a computer science student. Ample research, excellent perspective, and practical ideas have made this book the best.
  • Many readers have mentioned this is the best book they have read on thinking correctly after Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow.”

Key Takeaways

  • The best part is, of course, the way these two completely different subjects are aligned. Then you will also learn what seems impossible to you, e.g., having hunches when you need them and what to leave on chance. From finding a parking spot to finding a spouse, this book will enlighten you in deciding everything in life.
  • Use this book as your guide if you are ever overwhelmed with the various decisions you must make. Like computers, this best decision-making book will help you sort the information correctly and make sound decisions on solid ground.
<< Get this book >>

#4 – Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions

by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney & Howard Raiffa

Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions

Book Review

  • This best decision-making book has already sold over 200,000 copies. It is a great read if you have questions about anything and seem overwhelmed with possible options.
  • Most decision books talk about how to get there, i.e., the decision-making process ends. But here, the emphasis is on the means of making good decisions. Many business graduates have mentioned that this book is the best they have read in their entire curriculum. The authors have gone deep into understanding how people make decisions (it’s not a rational afterthought; rather, it’s purely emotional).

Key Takeaways

  • The steps mentioned in this top decision-making book are incredible:
    • How to evaluate your plans?
    • How to deconstruct the potential decision you are about to make?
    • How to find out the triggers for your goals?
    • How can you apply systematic thinking?
    • How to find the right facts to make the smartest choice?
  • According to the authors, even though decision-making is responsible for our everyday success or failure, we don’t pay much heed to how we make decisions. This book presents to you almost 100 years of experience in the book so that you can make effective decisions, however big or small your decisions are.
<< Get this book >>

#5 – Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions

by Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational - Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Mass Market) (10) by [Paperback (2010)]

Book Review

  • Have you ever wondered why you make a bad decision even when you have the facts at your fingertips? You would know if you picked up this book.
  • This best decision-making book signifies that most of our decisions are irrational. And unlike any other book, it specifies why we are irrational in our decision-making. Even if it seems disheartening, it clarifies why we are what we are. Moreover, the book is full of great examples and very enjoyable to read.

Key Takeaways

  • If you want to understand human behavior deeper, this is the best book you will get. The best part of this book is that it doesn’t only talk about decision-making but labels decision-making as behavior and tries to find out why we behave irrationally sometimes, even when we don’t have any reason to. 
  • This book talks about questions like –
    • Why is everything relative even when it shouldn’t be?
    • How do expectations impact opinions?
    • If something is free, is it always a “bargain”?
  • Moreover, you will be able to soak in countless behavioral experiments that will help you understand your behaviors and the behaviors of others.
<< Get this book >>

#6 – Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

by Lysa TerKeurst

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

Book Review

  • This book is the most personal book on decision-making you would ever read. Most of us get emotionally glued when something unexpected happens. Once you pick up this book, you will learn how you would unglue yourself from the uncertainty and remain poised.
  • This top decision-making book is about emotion and how our instantaneous emotions impact our decision-making ability. This book is not about everyday decisions. Rather, it focuses on when you are boiling in anger and ready to explode. How would you shape up your emotion and make the right decision when making a decision is hard? You will learn that in this book.

Key Takeaways from this Top Decision Making Book

  • The best part of this book is the process of explanation. As Robin Sharma mentions, “change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” We can say the same thing about this book. This top decision-making book is hard in the beginning as you begin to relate, messy in the middle, understanding that you are one of the “types” the author mentions, and gorgeous at the end as realizing who you are and how you can use your raw emotion to make better decisions!
<< Get this book >>

#7 – Effective Decision-Making: How to make better decisions under uncertainty and pressure

by Edoardo Binda Zane

Effective Decision-Making: How To Make Better Decisions Under Uncertainty And Pressure

Book Review

  • This book is a short read. If you want to start with a quick read, grab this top decision-making book and read the cover. The author has used a simple framework to explain how you can empower yourself fast amid uncertainty and pressure.
  • Go back to the old days and bring back all the anthologies you have read as part of the decision-making tools for an organization. And you will find the collection of those anthologies in this book. This top decision-making book is short. It cuts the chase in half to find out what works and doesn’t in business and life. Many organizations have already been using the methods and tools (like the Delphi method) mentioned in this book.

Key Takeaways

  • First, this is very easy to read, and you will find great value in this material of 130 pages.
  • Second, the author’s insights and dialogues have improved this book, even if the methods are well-known.
  • Third, you will also learn a bunch of new concepts –
    • The OODA Loop
    • The Recognition-Primed Decision Model
    • The John Whitmore Model
    • The PDSA Cycle
    • Decision Biases
    • TELOS
    • Causal Loops Diagrams
    • Kipling Method
    • Zwicky’s Box
    • SCAMPER
<< Get this book >>

#8 – Decision Making For Dummies

by Dawna Jones

Decision Making For Dummies

Book Review

  • We already know that dummies books are great tools if we want to learn any skill. This book is also no exception. If you want to know the nitty-gritty of decision-making, pick this best decision-making book up.
  • Decision-making in business settings is becoming complex. And it would help if you had a toolbox that would guide you, help you unlearn what’s not required, and teach you exactly how to make a difficult decision in times of unrest and uncertainty. This dummies book on decision-making will show you how. Once you grab this book, you will learn everything about decision-making in a properly structured, step-by-step manual.

Key Takeaways

You will learn four things from reading this book on decision-making:

  • Big picture: You will learn to see the big picture amid complex options and unknown territory.
  • Personal growth:  What do you think is the greatest source of your personal growth or downfall? It is the result of collective decision-making. You may be just one decision away from a completely different life.
  • The nitty-gritty: “Why” behind a decision is as important as a result; you can find the “why” here.
  • Up your ante: How will better decision-making help you impact the whole organization as a whole as well as yourself?
<< Get this book >>

#9 – What’s Your Decision?: How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity

by J. Michael Sparough, Jim Manney & Tim Hipskind

What's Your Decision?: How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity: An Ignatian Approach to Decision Making

Book Review

  • In an individual’s life, there are millions of questions. What to do, what not to do? Which is the right option and which is not so great? Suppose you are always wondering what to do and what not; this decision-making book will act as a light for you.
  • This best decision-making book is an excellent book for one to read. And this one is very useful for day-to-day life. Many of the most pressing questions will be answered in this book, like – Where should I study? Whom should I marry? Should I change my career? When should I retire? The approach of this book is not exactly business-like but mostly listening to power beyond human comprehension.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a short read (only 178 pages long). It provides great insights into the case of making the right decisions.
  • More than reason, the authors remind us to listen to our intuition (gut instinct) while making important decisions.
  • If you have searched for a concrete process on which you can base all your decisions and become confident about them, this book will provide you with the most appropriate decision-making process.
<< Get this book >>

#10 – Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills

by Michael Kallet

Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills

Book Review

  • What if you can train your brain to think better instead of thinking about individual decisions separately? This best decision-making book goes beyond all the concepts of decision-making and talks specifically about critical thinking.
  • Famous psychologist Carl Jung remarks that most people don’t know how to think; that’s why they judge. This book is on the same periphery. It will teach you the nonsense of the statement, “I don’t have time to think!” If you can’t think well, you can’t make effective decisions. This book will not only teach you effective decision-making; it will also teach you how to think well.

Key Takeaways

  • The chapters in this best decision-making book are very short and to the point.
  • The author has mentioned which part can be skipped (if you choose to) and which part is a must-read. It’s an innovative concept for a reader.
  • This book has no extreme examples. Every example given in this book is timely and relevant.
  • Four things that are most relevant to decision-making are:
    • The comprehensive critical thinking framework
    • 25+ tools to facilitate thinking critically
    • Critical thinking implementation
    • Examples of how to do it
<< Get this book >>

This article guides the Top 10 Decision Making Books to read in 2023. Here, we discuss what these books propose, their key takeaways, and reviews. You can learn more from the following books: –

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