Warren Buffett compares stock trading to great athletes: they excel, not because of fast neurological responses, but because of their ability to delay as long as possible before reacting. Successful CEOs, fire fighters, and military officers all know how to manage delay to gather as much information as possible to get the results they need.
In Wait, Frank Partnoy argues that decisions of all kinds, whether 'snap' or long-term, benefit from being made at the last possible moment. The art of knowing how long you can afford to delay before committing is at the heart of many a great decision, whether in a corporate takeover or a marriage proposal. Apologies are better received if they are not rushed; audiences listen more attentively if speakers pause first, people who can defer gratification are happier and more successful than those who must have everything now. Exploring decisions that must be made in a millisecond to those that take months and years, Partnoy demonstrates that the ability to wait is crucial to getting the right answer and that gut instincts are often wrong.