Wednesday 19 April 2023

Book ~ "Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away" (2022) Annie Duke

From Goodreads ~ Business leaders, with millions of dollars down the drain, struggle to abandon a new app or product that just isn't working. Governments, caught in a hopeless conflict, believe that the next tactic will finally be the one that wins the war. And in our own lives, we persist in relationships or careers that no longer serve us. 

Why? According to Annie Duke, in the face of tough decisions, we're terrible quitters. And that is significantly holding us back.

In "Quit", Duke teaches you how to get good at quitting. Drawing on stories from elite athletes like Mount Everest climbers, founders of leading companies like Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack, and top entertainers like Dave Chappelle, Duke explains why quitting is integral to success, as well as strategies for determining when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em, that will save you time, energy, and money. You'll learn:
  • How the paradox of quitting influences decision making: If you quit on time, you will feel you quit early 
  • What forces work against good quitting behavior, such as escalation commitment, desire for certainty, and status quo bias
  • How to think in expected value in order to make better decisions, as well as other best practices, such as increasing flexibility in goal-setting, establishing "quitting contracts," anticipating optionality, and conducting premortems and backcasts 
  • Whether you're facing a make-or-break business decision or life-altering personal choice, mastering the skill of quitting will help you make the best next move.

This sounded like an interesting book and topic and it was. We probably all keep doing things we don't want to do or we've lost our passion for but we are too far into it quit or we worry about what people will think. This book lets you know that it's okay to quit.

The topics/chapters include:
  1. Why quitting is our best tool for making decisions under uncertainty
  2. Why, when you quit on time, it usually feels like you quit too early
  3. The science of quitting - grit vs quit
  4. Escalation of commitment - we respond to bad news by increasing our commitment to a losing course of action
  5. Why "sunk costs" make it hard to walk away
  6. Strategies to improve decisions about when to quit
  7. How ownership of things and ideas make it difficult to change course
  8. How our identity becomes an impediment to quitting and cause us to escalate commitment to disastrous choice
  9. Strategy for mitigating biases that make walking away so hard including getting a quitting coach
  10. Lessons we learn when we're forced to quit
  11. The downside of goals

I liked the writing style and it's obvious the author has done a lot of research (you can see for yourself at the back of the book). There are lots of  examples including Sears, Mohammad Ali, mountaineer Rob Hall who passed away on Mount Everest, and more ... how they should have quit but didn't and the repercussions. It was an interesting book and I'm going to try to some of the principles like having a kill criteria, being aware of sunk costs, and more.

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