And Trumps Or, Better Decisions Without Narrow Frame

Derek Halpern

Things at work have been humming along smoothly for the past two years. But recently, management was shaken up. I’ll spare you the gory details, but lately I’ve been asking myself, “When should I leave my job?”

Coincidentally, I stumbled upon Derek Halpern’s interview with Dan Heath. They were discussing concepts explored in his book called Decisive. One of the enemies of good decision making, goes by something he called Narrow Frame. I don’t want to butcher his concept, but he went on to explain that critical decisions, where we should explore multiple options, we somehow narrow the choices down to one.

Specifically, for a job, we boil it down to “Should I stay or should I go?”. For entrepreneurs, it probably sounds closer to “Should I stay in my 9-to-5 or leave to start my own business?”. Heath went on to say the better question would be “How can I stay in my job AND start my own business?” I want to dive deeper into why I actually like using the narrow frame to make my decisions.


Spur Myself to Action

Like I said before, I’m very status quo and like to stick to my comfort zone. With the unexpected increase of stress from new management, I’m trying to use this as a catalyst to start my own business. My usual move, would be to grin and bear it, and look for reasons why I should be happy with my situation. This ultimately renders me into non action, settling, and a whole lot of nothing.

Avoiding Analysis Paralysis

If I keep things simple, and whip myself into a frenzy with the new office drama, I eliminate analysis paralysis by removing other options on the table. I lost count of how many times analysis paralysis also rendered me into non action, settling, and a whole lot of nothing. Do you see a pattern here?

Final Thoughts

After digesting Derek and Dan’s discussion, I’m no longer rushing myself out the door. Besides listening to Derek’s podcast, and investing in Dan’s book Decisive, I have two additional items to combat narrow frame decision making.

Stay calm and recognize that a critical life decision such as leaving your job should not be taken lightly. The last thing you need is making a rash emotional decision. Ask yourself, wouldn’t it serve you better in the long run if you looked at all possible options and make the decision in a calm, objective state of mind?

Recognize that going all in and taking action could be a good thing. However, if you want to avoid a high-stakes gamble and suffer possible regrets, you need to look at all options. Understand analysis paralysis could occur, but your mission is calm, diligent action.

For more information on better decision making and avoiding the narrow frame, you can listen to Derek’s interview with Dan at and read more about Decisive at

Stay Inspired!

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