Book Review: “Big Decisions,” by Lee Crumbaugh

There are decisions and then there are decisions.  Lee Crumbaugh knows this truth.  He is a strategist, consultant and business coach with 50 years of experience across sectors and industries.  Crumbaugh’ s new book, Big Decisions, does a terrific job of cautioning us that these Big Decisions, or “strategic decisions,” need to be processed much differently than day-to-day decisions.  On the surface, this makes perfect intuitive sense, but as the author led this particular reader through six major categories and detailed examples of sixty-eight cognitive biases and mental traps humans too often exhibit, I found myself humbled and introspective.

Cover of the book Big Decisions

Crumbaugh traces the development of these aforementioned mental blocks on decision making from the origins of human development through today’s disrupted world.  He includes dozens of alarming decision-making errors and a range of Big Decisions that resulted in very positive outcomes.  I was especially awestruck by the book’s reference set (more than a thousand) used by Crumbaugh to substantiate his argument, the detailed glossary of terms and models, the impact of Artificial Intelligence on decision making, and the author’s iDECIDE decision making framework.  iDECIDE is a wonderful tool designed to give the user a better chance of making good decisions when it really, really matters.

This is a must-read book for any strategy professional who seeks to hone their own critical thinking and facilitation skill sets.


Strategy consultant and business coach Lee Crumbaugh, SMP, president of Forrest Consulting since 1988, has helped 100s of companies, associations, non-profits, leaders, owners, and entrepreneurs be more successful.

Armed with a University of Chicago MBA and a University of Illinois communications degree, he has been a leader in banking, associations, publishing, and philanthropy, He has launched a publishing company and a business group as well as his consulting firm.

Lee is past president of the International Association for Strategy Professionals, co-founder of the International Association of Facilitators Chicago Chapter, a certified Strategic Management Professional, and author of two books, AHEAD: Strategy is the way to a better future and BIG DECISIONS: 40 disastrous decisions and thousands of research studies tell us how to make a great decision when it really matters (both available on Amazon), and a blog, Strategic Thinking & Strategic Action (on

Lee has three children and four grandchildren. Margaret Kaii-Ziegler is his significant other. His 48-year spouse, Sherry, passed away in 2018, after they relocated from Chicago to be near grandchildren.

Lee is a 10-time Ironman and 60-marathon finisher. Now retired from long-distance racing, he continues to race shorter distances and coaches runners and triathletes.

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LBL Strategies Team