3 ways to think like a US Marine to make decisions under pressure


“Life doesn’t get easier, you just get better at it” – Steve Mariboli


Today’s business world mirrors the battlefield in that it is VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

The ability to make decisions is a privilege, but it can also be a burden and stressful. Middle managers especially often have to deal with more rapidly changing circumstances and face judgement on those decisions from above and below.

To help yourself make these decisions in the chaos and constantly changing circumstances of working life, it pays to take a leaf out of the US Marine training book.

The Rule of Three

When faced with any situation/decision a Marine is taught start by defining the problem clearly. When they’ve done that they generate three options for how to proceed.

The view is that any less than three and there simply aren’t enough genuine options from which to choose one.

More than three and there is a risk that the soldier is affected by paralysis by analysis – a common problem that affects many of us in different areas of out lives.

Having made their choice it is then imperative they execute that decision with full commitment. Remember, there is no such thing as the perfect decision, but any decision is better than no decision at all.

This decision-making tool is a very good and simple way of avoiding confusion and woolly thinking. If you can do this you’ll not only perform better under pressure but develop a reputation for being decisive.

What decision have you got to make that you can apply this model to? Try it out and let me know how you got on.

Feel free to share this with anyone you know who may benefit from it.

Home | What I do | Who I work with | Resources Articles
Anthony Taylor | Coach, Speaker, Trainer, Writer | Mobile: 07771 892479 | Email: anthony@anthonytaylorltd.com