Expensive Sentences. Debunking the Common Myths that Derail Decisions and Sabotage Success

Author: Quarles, Jack

Publication Date:

February 2017



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

World excl. North America

Territories Sold

China (Beijing Mediatime)
Taiwan (Domain Publishing, at auction)
South Korea (House of Thinking)


Business & Leadership

Foreign Covers

Domain Publishing
House of Thinking

Expensive Sentences. Debunking the Common Myths that Derail Decisions and Sabotage Success

Author: Quarles, Jack


A thoroughly engaging read that will improve your decision making both professionally and personally. — Scott McKeon, Professor of Economics, Stanford University

A few words. Phrases we use every day. They seem so innocent. And yet left un-examined, they cost us dearly, both personally and professionally. In Expensive Sentences Jack Quarles shows us how we get in our own way when making decisions—and how to get out of it. Save yourself more grief. Get started reading! — Robert “Jake” Jacobs, author of ‘Real-time Strategic Change’ co-author of ‘You Don’t Have to Do It Alone’

This isn’t theory; Quarles unpacks the many ways that team thinking goes wrong, and provides instantly useful insight and tools to make better decisions. — David Ruud, President, DTE Power and Industrial

‘Expensive Sentences’ lays out a clean method to laser focus on the patterns that hold us back. Quarles encourages us that change is not only possible, but easier (and faster) than we think! Thank you for reminding us of the great power in our words. — Kacy Paide, professional organizer and founder of ‘The Inspired Office’

Challenging, convicting, and ultimately encouraging. Expensive Sentences is packed with practical wisdom for veteran and new leaders pursuing high performing teams. — Dale Pyne, CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

Quarles boils down decades of buying wisdom into a book that’s accessible, enjoyable, practical, and extremely valuable for anyone who wants to get the most for their money, time, and energy. You’ll feel like you’re back in control after reading this book. — Jeff Gallimore, co-founder and principal of Excella Partners

I love this book! Expensive Sentences quickly dispels common business myths with thought-provoking, relevant questions, that when answered honestly will assist leaders in creating actionable plans and achieving bottom line results. — Sheryl Clutter, COO, Convene

Jack Quarles reveals why it’s so common for companies to waste money, time, and attention. The insights in Expensive Sentences will help teams avoid waste and get results in every area of company operations. — Ian Altman, International Speaker & Sales Trainer, author of ‘Upside-Down Selling’.

Expensive Sentences is a must-read for lean-budgeted entrepreneurs and experienced executives alike. — Mark Greathouse, Managing Director, Mid-Atlantic Angels Corporation

Perfect for an office book club… highly readable and actionable. Applies to every function in the organization. — Doug Pontsler, VP Operations & Sustainability, Owens Corning

‘Expensive Sentences’ is about so much more than managing cost… recommended to all leaders seeking better decisions and greater impact. — Brad Phillips, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Expensive Sentences links spending decisions to an organization’s broader strategic vision, and challenges how teams steward the equally scarce resources of time and effort. Our MIT program partners with global companies to help them identify future operations leaders, and we continually hear about the need for revitalizing perspectives within even the most successful companies. This book relentlessly tests many widely-held assumptions. — Josh Jacobs, Director of Operations & Partner Integration, MIT

One of the great devices in drama is the snare – when our heroes are lured into situations that look right at first, but land them in peril. They had a good plan, but it turns out that plan was based on faulty information or a deceptive premise.

Sadly, this experience is not limited to fiction. In our own lives we know the pain of following a promising path only to realize it leads to a negative outcome. What seemed like great decisions based on solid reasons end up costing us time, money, opportunity, or more.

Most of us don’t face the foul villains of movies and books. But there is an enemy. The enemy is more sly, more subtle, and just as dangerous. Like Bart Simpson’s mythical Milk Dud, it is sweet on the outside and poison on the inside. It sounds like wisdom, but it is an Expensive Sentence.

We can spot an Expensive Sentence by its impact. Expensive Sentences limit information. They end conversations. They create urgency and isolation. They reduce options. They steal choice.

Despite the fact that Expensive Sentences show up everywhere with unlimited wordings and context, their message can be distilled to just three words:




Expensive Sentences reveal that we believe that something is scarce, that someone is special, or that we are stuck.

We’ll explore the full implications and costs of Scarce, Special, and Stuck, and we will study the most common sentences that foster those conditions.


Foreign Covers

Domain Publishing
House of Thinking