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SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

alt.mba

altMBA

An intensive, 4-week online workshop designed to accelerate leaders to become change agents for the future. Designed by Seth Godin, for you.

ONLINE:

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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Member since 08/2003

The boss goes first

If you want to build a vibrant organizational culture, or govern with authority, or create a social dynamic that's productive and fair, the simple rule is: the rules apply to people in power before they are applied to those without.

It's easy to rationalize the alternative, to put yourself first. After all, you've somehow earned the authority to make an exception for yourself.

But when we avoid that temptation and expose ourselves to the rules first, obey the rules first and make the sacrifices first, our culture is more likely to stick.

The rules that matter the most are the ones about behavior, transparency and accountability.

People might hear what you say, but they always remember what you do.

Like Mary Shelley

When she wrote Frankenstein, it changed everything. A different style of writing. A different kind of writer. And the use of technology in ways that no one expected and that left a mark.

Henry Ford did that. One car and one process after another, for decades. Companies wanted to be the Ford of _____. Progress makes more progress easier. Momentum builds. But Ford couldn't make the streak last. The momentum gets easier, but the risks feel bigger too.

Google was like that. Changing the way we used mail and documents and the internet itself. Companies wanted to be the Google of _____. And Apple was like that, twice with personal computers, then with the phone. And, as often happens with public companies, they both got greedy.

Tesla is still like that. They're the new Ford. Using technology in a conceptual, relentless, and profound fashion to remake industries and expectations, again and again. Take a breakthrough, add a posture, apply it again and again. PS Audio is like that in stereos, and perhaps you could be like that...  The Mary Shelley of ____.

The simple truth about net neutrality

It's not that complicated.

It's based in history, it involves money and fairness and control.

But it's not that complicated.

If you care about the details, it's worth reading this classic from Tim Wu. There's no debate about how we got here, and not even that much debate about where it leads. It's mostly about who has the power to control the access that you and others have to the information and interactivity that drives our lives.

If net neutrality in the US is taken away, everyone will pay more, service will cease to be universal, the poor will lose something they need more than ever, and some lobbyists will be very happy.

Here's a great tool. Scroll down to step two and make a free call. It'll take you two minutes, and it's worth more than that.

Five contributions

Each one matters, each is intentional, each comes with effort, preparation and reward:

Leader: The pathfinder, able to get from here to there, to connect in service of a goal. Setting an agenda, working in the dark, going new places and tackling unknowable obstacles.

Manager: Leveraging the work of others, coordinating and completing, with a focus on taking responsibility. The leader can set an agenda, the manager makes the countless decisions to ensure it gets completed. It's been done before, but you can do it better.

Salesperson: Turning a maybe into a yes, enrolling prospects in the long-term journey of value creation.

Craftsperson: Using hands or a keyboard to do unique work that others can't (or won't).

Contributor: Showing up and doing what you're asked to do, keeping promises made on your behalf.

I'm sure that I missed a few, but I'm not describing job titles, I'm describing a posture. When you decide what to do next, that decision reveals your sense of what's the next best contribution you can make. What do you see, who are you waiting for, how do you know if it's working, what do you need to learn, where is the leverage and who can help?

Yes, these are soft skills, real skills, the skills and attitudes that actually matter. It's up to each of us to decide how much we'll show up, how much we'll contribute.

What would it look like if your contribution was truly significant?

The confusion about competence

A friend was describing a clerk he had recently dealt with. "She was competent, of course, but she couldn't engage very well with the customer who just came in."

Then, of course, she wasn't competent, was she?

It doesn't take a genius to see that competence is no longer about our ability to press certain buttons in a certain sequence. Far more often, competence involves the humanity required to connect with other people, in real time.

It requires emotional labor, not merely compliance.

Outsiders

You can't have insiders unless you have outsiders.

And you can't have winners unless you have losers.

That doesn't mean that you're required to create insiders and winners. All it means is that when people begin to measure themselves only in comparison to others ("How did I rank?") then you need to accept the impact of those choices.

It's entirely possible to be happy and engaged and productive without creating this dynamic. But in a culture based on scarcity, it's often easier to award or deduct points and to keep a scoreboard instead.

Meaningful work

Of course, it came with chocolate.

There's no doubt that we're doing more running around than ever before. More cutting of corners, counting of pennies, reading of reviews. More focus on making a profit, less on making a difference.

But why?

Once you have enough, isn't better the point?

Better doesn't mean more. Better means generous, sustainable, worthy. Better means connection and quality and opportunity, too.

This lesson is easily learned from chocolate. Not merely because there's a limited amount you can eat at a time (so why not eat something better), but because the creation of chocolate gives us a startling insight into justice, fairness and what it means to do work that matters.

The numbers associated with chocolate are huge. Tons of cacao, millions of bars, billions in revenue. But one number is astonishingly small: the amount the typical farmer makes in income. For many, it's only $3 a day. The people who are creating the raw material for the magic we consume daily are among some of the poorest and least respected workers in the world.

My friend Shawn has written a groundbreaking book that might just change everything for you. Not merely the way you eat chocolate, but the way you do your work.

It publishes today at Amazon and 800CEORead as well. Shawn has used his life (from defense attorney to creator of some of the most amazing chocolate in the world) as a way to think about the work we do all day. How do we do it, why do we do it, what do we measure...

A must read. It will help you see the world differently.

PS Emily and Maya and their team at Uncommon Cacao are putting some of these insights to work in a brave and powerful new way. As soon as someone says, "there's no other way," count on someone who cares to find another way.

Also, mostly unrelated, two fun novels for the fall: The Punch Escrow and After On. Rollicking tech pop-culture thrill rides.

Full vs. enough

One of the lessons of Thanksgiving is that we eat too much. We eat until we're full, experiencing the sensation of too much.

It's easy to confuse our desire for that that feeling with the feeling of 'enough'. Enough doesn't feel like full, but that's okay.

Too often, we've been persuaded by marketers and other maximizers that the only satisfying state is 'full.' Not just in what we've eaten, but in what we own, control or receive.

In fact, full doesn't last and full isn't desirable. No thanks, I've got enough. It's better that way.

[The US Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Today's a good day to revisit the (now) classic Thanksgiving Reader. It's free to print, free to share and a nice part of the celebration for families everywhere.]

Been done before

What percentage of the work you do each day is work where the process (the 'right answer') is known? Jobs where you replicate a process instead of inventing one...

The place where we can create the most value is when we do a job where exploration and a new solution is what's needed. Not rote, but exploration. Which means we're doing something that's not been done before, something that might not work. 

This isn't something to avoid, it's the work we need to seek out.

Speakerphone voice

When the speakerphone is on in the conference room, do you talk differently? 

It's pretty common.

We breathe from a different spot, hold our chest differently, constrict our throats and generally try to shout our words across the ocean.

The people listening on the speaker are used to it. The people in the room with you, less so.

Human beings don't have a long cultural history with microphones. We don't instinctively understand that they actually work. So we shout instead. And shouting changes how we're believed, trusted and ultimately heard.

Learning to use a microphone is a great skill. When you speak normally, it turns out that the microphone has plenty of volts, watts and amps on hand to move your voice all the way to Latvia if you want it to. And then your words will actually be heard.

Everyone else is irrational

Everyone else makes bad decisions, is shortsighted, prejudiced, subject to whims, temper tantrums, outbursts and short-term thinking.

Once you see it that way, it's easier to remember...

that we're everyone too.

Cancelled

All those meetings you have tomorrow--they were just cancelled. The boss wants you to do something productive instead.

What would you do with the time? What would you initiate?

If it's better than those meetings were going to be, why not cancel them?

Winning a yoga race

It makes no sense, of course.  

The question this prompts is: Are there places you feel like you're falling behind where there's actually no race?

Disastorino

Elections are the only place where marketers try to get fewer people to buy what's being sold.

In many elections in the US, fewer than half the population votes. Which means, of course, that in most elections, not only doesn't the winner get a majority, the winner wasn't even chosen by a majority of the majority. We make it worse with gerrymandering and arcane vote counting.

It turns out that depressing voter turnout is a shortcut for the selfish political marketer. It's easier to get your opponent's supporters to become disgusted enough to stay home than it is to actually encourage people to proactively vote for you.

When non-electoral marketers try to learn from political examples, we get confused by all of this. The fact that it's a one-shot event, that a bare majority is the goal (most marketing doesn't have to win a majority, it merely needs to matter to enough people) and that decreasing turnout is a valid strategy all add up to make politics a special case.

Blue Bottle Coffee doesn't succeed against Starbucks by getting people to not drink coffee at all. Nor do they need to sell more than half the coffee sold. All that a non-political marketer needs to do is find enough raving fans. If politicians learned this lesson, I think we'd all be better off.

It's not an accident we're disgusted. Politicians spend billions of marketing dollars to create the belief that voting is something that's better to avoid.

They teach us that it's not a responsibility we want to take.

They make it feel like a hassle.

They don't invest in making it a chance to build community and connection.

In short, it's more like giving blood and less like going to a Super Bowl party.

Too often the incumbents are liked by a minority, respected by an even smaller group and particularly bad at the job. And if many of the registered voters turned out, each would lose in a heartbeat. 

The solution is simple, fast and cheap. Show up and vote. Every time.

Once politicians realize that we're immune to their cynical tricks, they'll stop using them.

Show up and vote. It'll make a difference.

This is post 7,000

[actually, it's more than that, but the previous incarnations of this blog are lost to the fogs of time]

Delivered free, daily, for decades. You can subscribe at no cost by email, by following this blog on Twitter or Facebook, and best of all, by RSS.

There are no ads, never have been. No guest posts, of course. No one can buy a slot or a referral. All Amazon affiliate revenue is donated to BuildOn and to Acumen.

I write every word. I don't understand outsourcing something this personal, a privilege this important. 

The secret to writing a daily blog is to write every day. And to queue it up and blog it. There is no other secret.

The blog contains more than 2,700,000 words, delivering the equivalent of more than thirty full-length books. The blog doesn't exist to get you to buy a book... sometimes I think I write the books to get people to read the blog.

I haven't missed a day in many, many years--the discipline of sharing something daily is priceless. Sometimes there are typos. I hope that they're rare and I try to fix them.

Over time, the blog adds up. People remember a blog post a year after I wrote it. Or they begin a practice, take an action, make a connection, something that grows over time. The blog resonates with people in so many fields, it's thrilling to see how it can provoke positive action.

It's true that I'd write this blog even if no one read it, but I want to thank you for reading it, for being here day after day. It's more fun that way. There are more than a million subscribers, and, best I can tell, people read this in nearly every country in the world.

PS There are two easily found collections of some of my best posts. They are Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck and Small Is The New Big.

And there are also two complete collections, each weighing more than 17 pounds.

One is out of print and a collector's item, the other has just 600 copies left. That's the end of the run--worth gifting...

Unboxing stories are here. To celebrate #7000, the last copies are on sale until they're all gone.

Thanks for being part of this journey.

Cheap symbolism

The engineering mindset tells us that all that matters is what's under the surface, the measurable performance.

Designers know that perception is at least as valuable.

Symbolic acts are rarely cheap or wasted if they work. Because we're story-telling creatures, and symbols are clues about which story we ought to tell ourselves.

Symbolism isn't cheap. It's priceless.

The overflowing outbox

Deadlines are vitamins for creativity.

If you've got too much in progress, too much of a buffer, too many items ready to go, it's easy to slip back to complacency. Without the feeling of imminent, it's easier to hide.

If you're the kind of person that needs a crisis to move forward, feel free to invent one. Take the good ideas that aren't going anywhere and delete them, give them away, hand them off to your team.

An empty outbox is a mother of invention.

[The flipside: Maybe you don't need invention. Maybe what you need is market traction, completion or more trust. Maybe you need to build an asset, firm up a foundation and create real value for your customers. It could be that one reason your outbox is so full is that you're still in the habit of inventing. It turns out that 99% of the value our teams create happens after we've invented something.] The Dip is real.

The real law of averages

If you want to raise the standards of any group, improving the top of the heap isn't nearly as effective as focusing your effort on the base instead.

Simple example: Getting a Prius to go from 50 miles per gallon to 55 miles per gallon isn't nearly as important as getting SUVs to go from 10 miles per gallon to 15. There are two reasons for this. The first is that there are a lot more SUVs than Priuses. The second is that they use far more gallons, so a percentage increase has far more yield. (You can't average averages).

If you care about health and a culture of performance, it's tempting to push Olympic athletes to go just a tenth of a second faster. It's far more effective, though, if you can get 3,000,000 kids to each spend five more minutes a day walking instead of sitting.

Organizations pamper and challenge the few in the executive suite, imagining that one more good decision in the biz dev group could pay off. The thing is, if every one of the 10,000 customer-facing employees was more engaged and kind, it would have a far bigger impact on the company and those it serves.

I think the reason we focus on the few is that it feels more dramatic, seems more controllable and is ultimately easier. But the effective, just and important thing to do is to help the back of the line catch up.

Samizdat is in the writing

Under oppressive regimes, samizdat spreads. Forbidden dissident writing, informally published, hidden, spread from hand to hand.

Reading it encourages and empowers other dissidents.

But writing it--writing it is the true disruption. Because the act of saying it, saying it clearly, saying it aloud, this is what galvanizes people and leads to action.

The work not yet done

Could be...

That you don't know what needs to be done.

That you don't know how to do what needs to be done.

That you're afraid to do what needs to be done.

It's frustrating. We want to move up, we want our project to make more of an impact, we want to ship--but the undone work hangs over us. 

If you care enough, the path forward is clear, isn't it?

You can model what needs to be done, basing your next steps on what others have done before you. You can ask your boss or your clients for an agenda. You can test and test again. You can leap.

You can learn how to do what you don't know how to do. You can improve your skills, get better tools and do the hard work of actually getting better at the work.

But most of all, you can realize that the most urgent work is the work of dancing with our fear, because the fear is the real reason the work isn't getting done.

Machine unreadable

More and more, we create our work to be read by a machine.

SEO specialists tell you how to write a blog post that Google will like. Your resumé needs to have the right keywords to get tagged. Everything has an ISBN, an ASIN or a catalog number.  Ideas become data become databases...

We did the same thing when assembly lines started up. Every part had to be the same size, the cogs in the system were less important than the system itself.

Being machine readable might feel like a shortcut to getting where you're going. After all, fitting in as a machine-readable cog into the database of ideas gets you a faster start. But it's also the best way to be ignored, because you've chosen to be one of the many, an idea that's easy to pigeonhole and then ignored.

What happens if your work becomes machine unreadable?

So new we don't have a slot for it.

So unpredictable that we can't ignore it.

So important that we have to stop feeding the database and start paying attention instead...

The thing about maps

Sometimes, when we're lost, we refuse a map, even when offered. 

Because the map reminds us that we made a mistake. That we were wrong.

But without a map, we're not just wrong, we're also still lost.

A map doesn't automatically get you home, but it will probably make you less lost. 

(When dealing with the unknown, it's difficult to admit that there might not be a map. In those cases, a compass is essential, a way to remind yourself of your true north...)

Impostor syndrome

It's rampant.

The big reason is that we're all impostors. You're not imagining that you're an impostor, it's likely that you are one.

Everyone who is doing important work is working on something that might not work. And it's extremely likely that they're also not the very best qualified person on the planet to be doing that work.

How could it be any other way? The odds that a pure meritocracy chose you and you alone to inhabit your spot on the ladder is worthy of Dunning-Kruger status. You've been getting lucky breaks for a long time. We all have.

Yes, you're an impostor. So am I and so is everyone else. Superman still lives on Krypton and the rest of us are just doing our best.

Isn't doing your best all you can do? Dropping the narrative of the impostor isn't arrogant, it's merely a useful way to get your work done without giving into Resistance.

Time spent fretting about our status as impostors is time away from dancing with our fear, from leading and from doing work that matters.

On being a good driver

The best drivers are unremarkable. Their actions are predictable. The drive is unexciting. They get from here to there with a minimum amount of fuss. 

A good driver fits in, all the way.

It's entirely possible to drive your career this way, your day at work, the interactions you have.

The alternative is to understand that the opposite of good driving at work isn't crashing. The opposite is leaping. Connecting, changing things.

Don't do it in your car, but consider trying it at your keyboard.

Money for nothing

A friend asked me for some ways to make money. (All direct quotes).

"Can I do okay taking those surveys where they pay me?" 

"What about buying or trading shirts from Supreme and then selling them?"

"Do you think I can get paid $50 an hour to be a dog walker?"

"Is listening to some famous person and investing in an ICO a shortcut to riches?" 

The thing is, almost all the easy shortcuts are taken. And the problem is that the ones that aren't taken are hiding really well among a forest of scams and ripoffs. [Please read this before you invest in any ICO or Bitcoin-related offering. Run away!]

Or how about,

"How can I get an agent for my screenplay," or

"Where do I find a publisher who will pay me a big advance for my first novel?"

Your best work isn't nothing, it's the heart of what you have to offer. Finding the long, difficult way is worth the journey, because it's the best way to get what you deserve.

Important, popular or viral

Important work is easily dismissed by the audience. It involves change and risk and thought.

Popular work resonates with the people who already like what you do.

Viral work is what happens when the audience can't stop talking about what you did.

Every once in awhile, all three things will co-exist, but odds are, you're going to need to choose.

Reverso g-h-o-s-t (off topic)

This is my favorite game.

It doesn't involve a board, there are no cards and it's free to play. It works for two to six players. You can do it in a car or a plane, it works great for two, and if you're kind, you can play it with someone less skilled than you. The more you play, the deeper and more fun the strategies go. 

I thought I'd share the rules here, because more g-h-o-s-t is good g-h-o-s-t.

Summary: Go around the circle of players and each person adds a letter to a spoken string, striving to not be the person who actually makes the string of letters into a word.

Players go one at a time, in order. Of course, you can sit anywhere you like. When each player has taken his or her turn, begin again with the first player.

To play a round, someone says a letter. The next person in the order has to add a letter to the first, beginning a word. For example, the first person might begin by saying, "y" and then, the next person could say, "o". The third could say "u" because three letters don't count as a word.

Beginning with the fourth letter, the goal is to not complete the word. So, if the letters are y-o-u from the first three players, the fourth player shouldn't say "r" because that would make a word. But it's fine to say "t".

If, on your turn, you are stuck and there's no choice but to say a letter that completes a word (in this case, "h"), you lose the round. Every time you lose a round, you get stuck with another letter in the word 'ghost', hence the name of the game. If you lose five rounds, you're out of the game. The last person left, wins.

If you lose a round, it's your turn to start the next round by picking a new letter.

Okay, three simple complications:

  1. The letter you say has to create a possible word. So if the string is, "y-o-u", you can't say, "x". (Unless you're bluffing, see rule 2).
  2. If the person before you says a letter that you believe is impossible, you can challenge their play. If they can respond with a legal word, you lose the round. If they can't, because they were bluffing or in error, they lose the round.
  3. No proper nouns, no contractions, no hyphens, no acronyms, no abbreviations. These words don't exist in the game.

And the big complication, the one that changes everything and makes this a game for the ages:

Once you get the hang of it, the group can play reverso. This means that when it's your turn, you're allowed to add a letter before the string, if you choose, instead of after. So now, words can be built in either direction, and game becomes magical. 

'y-o-u' can now become 'a-y-o-u' and then 'b-a-y-o-u'.

'r-d-s-c-r' for example, isn't worth challenging, because 'hardscrabble' is a word.

If you want to play reverso g-h-o-s-t as a finite game, with thrown elbows and strategy, it makes a terrific two-player game.

If you want to play it as an infinite game, setting up friends and family to do ever better, a game that never ends and has wordcraft and humor to it, you can do that as well.

[A suggestion from Jim F.: "I would offer an amendment to the game of Ghost as we play it in my family. When a player receives their fifth letter, they are no longer part of the spelling, but they remain in the game by becoming a “ghost”. Any active player who speaks to a Ghost receives an additional letter each time they speak to a Ghost. Ghosts are motivated to get active players to speak to them, and thus are not eliminated but adopt a new role."]

Have fun.

Reversologo

Degrees of freedom

All you have to do is look around to realize just how many choices we still have. What to eat, who to speak to, what to do for a living, what to learn, what to say, who to contribute to, how we interact, what we stand for...

The safe and comfortable path is to pretend that we're blocked at every turn.

But most of the turns, we don't even see. We've trained ourselves to ignore them.

A habit is not the same as no choice. And a choice isn't often easy. In fact, the best ones rarely are.

But we can still choose to make one. 

Date certain

Some work is best shipped when it's done.

Most of the time, though, we produce useful, important work on time. When it's due.

If you're having trouble shipping, it might because you've hesitated to put a date on it. "Soon" is a very different concept than, "11:00 am".

If it's important enough to spend your day on, to pin your dreams on, to promise to yourself and others, it's probably important enough to guarantee a ship date.

Stuntvertising

The math has changed.

It used to be, you paid money to run an ad. A little piece of media, bought and paid for. The audience came with the slot.

Today, of course, the ad is free to run. Post your post, upload your video. Free.

What to measure, then?

Well, one thing to measure is attention. How many likes or shares or views did it get?

But if you're going to optimize for attention, not trust or results or contribution, then you're on a very dangerous road.

It's pretty easy to get attention by running down the street naked (until everyone else does it). But that's not going to accomplish your goals.

When Oreo gets attention for a tweet or Halotop for a horrible ad, they're pulling a stunt, not contributing to their mission.

Yes, the alternative is more difficult. It doesn't come with a quick hit or big numbers. But it understands what it's for. An effective ad is far more valuable than a much-noticed one.

Decision making, after the fact

Critics are eager to pick apart complex decisions made by others.

Prime Ministers, CEOs, even football coaches are apparently serially incompetent. If they had only listened to folks who knew precisely what they should have done, they would have been far better off.

Of course, these critics have a great deal of trouble making less-complex decisions in their own lives. They carry the wrong credit cards, buy the wrong stocks, invest in the wrong piece of real estate.

Some of them even have trouble deciding what to eat for dinner.

Complex decision making is a skill—it can be learned, and some people are significantly better at it than others. It involves instinct, without a doubt, but also the ability to gather information that seems irrelevant, to ignore information that seems urgent, to patiently consider not just the short term but the long term implications.

The loudest critics have poor track records in every one of these areas.

Mostly, making good decisions involves beginning with a commitment to make a decision. That's the hard part. Choosing the best possible path is only possible after you've established that you've got the guts and the commitment to make a decision.