Reversible Vs Irreversible Decisions - The Jeff Bezos Model - Deepstash
Reversible Vs Irreversible Decisions - The Jeff Bezos Model

Reversible Vs Irreversible Decisions - The Jeff Bezos Model


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Reversible Vs Irreversible Decisions - The Jeff Bezos Model

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How The World's Second Richest Man Makes Decisions

  • Jeffrey Bezos is the founder and former CEO of Amazon.
  • With a net worth of US$182b, he's the world's second wealthiest person.

The Jeff Bezos Reversible vs. Irreversible Decisions Framework is a powerful mental model for unlocking growth in your career, business, relationships, or life.


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There are some subtle traps that even high-performing large organizations can fall into as a matter of course, and we’ll have to learn as an institution how to guard against them. One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is “one-size-fits-all” decision making.


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Irreversible And Reversible Decisions

Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before.

Most decisions are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal but reversible decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. 


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Going In A Flow

Irreversible and reversible decisions exist on a continuum—they're not binary.

You need to plot your decision against each spectrum to determine the importance of the decision.


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The Three Dimensions

Decisions can be broken down in three dimensions:

1 Resource investment from a decision

2 The overall impact of a positive outcome

3 The impacts of a negative outcome

The process involves plotting a point along each spectrum to determine overall importance.


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Applying The Decision Framework In Our Lives

Step 1: Determine whether the decision is reversible

Step 2: If it's reversible, have confidence in making the decision quickly

Step 3: For irreversible decisions, slow down and gather more information before deciding

Reversible decisions aren't an excuse to act recklessly.

They're a recognition that the ability to make decisions quickly is a competitive and life advantage.


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  • Once you start using this framework, you'll quickly learn that the vast majority of decisions are reversible.
  • This will unlock considerable progress for yourself, your career, or your business.
  • We should always aspire to speed, because time is the one resource we lack most.
  • Fear of failure and perfectionism is one of the greatest barriers to individual and collective human progress.
  • Much of overcoming these is learning when to go fast and when to go slow.
  • The irreversible vs. reversible decisions framework allows you to do that.


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