Making Great Decisions

in Business and Life

By David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper

Over 36,000 copies sold worldwide.

“It is, simply, a great book.”

John O. Whitney, Columbia Business School

“…flows like butter”

Barry Nalebuff, Yale School of Management

“…a mix of insights and controversy that will guarantee interesting reading.”

Dr. George Rosenkranz, founding chairman of Syntex Corporation

The phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ has been repeatedly ridiculed in the Dilbert comic strip and elsewhere, not because it is a bad idea, but because it is thrown like a brick lifesaver to drowning employees. To tell someone to work smarter is like telling someone to be happier, healthier, and richer. It’s not much help to merely repeat the objective; what people need is a plan for achieving the objective.

In Making Great Decisions, we show our readers how to achieve their objectives.

We write to help those in business and those in the business of life — i.e., everyone — to work smarter. Our ideas are both simple and powerful. We offer a better way to look at problems so that the solutions are easier to find. We help supplement our readers’ clear thinking by summarizing some of the most powerful techniques we have discovered.

Have you ever driven through corn country? From a distance, all you see are corn stalks and more corn stalks in a jumbled mess. Then suddenly, when you get closer, your perspective changes, and you can see down the rows and realize that the corn was planted perfectly in straight lines. Your perception of the crop changes from a messy jumble to a clear picture simply because you’re in the right spot. This book puts readers in that ideal spot.

So many problems seem like hopeless jumbles but then, when you start using the techniques we discuss here, they start to look as straightforward as the straightest line in an Iowa cornfield.

What motivated us to write this book is that, over the years, both of us have regularly come across people in organizations — often bright people with MBAs or other graduate degrees — who don’t think they have time, energy, or skills to make good decisions. They have many clues but don’t know how to put them together. They regularly face situations that they could analyze with some of the tools they learned in their courses, but they don’t realize that. We don’t hold ourselves apart from this group, and stories of our successes and failures are sprinkled throughout Making Great Decisions in Business and Life.

Preview the book:

Making Great Decisions features 25 illustrations by Mark Lawler, plus many diagrams that will help you think about how to approach problems more effectively.

Making Great Decisions has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin), and Spanish.

Published by Chicago Park Press.

For more information about the authors, visit and

Site design by Russ Hooper.