jerryking + hubris   20

Trump, Kushner and the businessman fallacy
Simon Kuper MARCH 8, 2018
The “businessman fallacy” — the notion that a rich businessman (never a woman) can run government better than a mere politician — is Donald Trump’s basic promise. That’s why the combustion of his son-in-law, fellow real-estate heir and senior adviser Jared Kushner — whose business dealings in the White House scream conflict of interest — is so telling. Kushner incarnates the businessman fallacy.......The businessman-turned-politician is often blinded by hubris. This usually stems from the “money delusion”: the idea that life is a race to make money, and that rich people (“winners”) therefore possess special wisdom.

Many businessmen imagine they pulled themselves up by the bootstraps in a free market, something that more people could do if only there was “less government in business”. This self-image usually omits context: the fact, say, that the businessman’s father built the company (before being jailed on a ridiculous technicality) or that government enforced his contracts and schooled his employees.....Rich Americans tend to feel contempt for politicians because they have learnt to treat them as lowly service providers who will sit up and beg for donations.
self-imagery  Simon_Kuper  Donald_Trump  Jared_Kushner  nepotism  White_House  conflicts_of_interest  oversimplification  privately_held_companies  family-owned_businesses  hubris  generalists  businessman_fallacy  heirs 
march 2018 by jerryking
Daniel S. Glaser: The Challenge of Keeping It Simple
JULY 15, 2016 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

When I joined Marsh more than 30 years ago, he said to me, “Danny, all I can tell you is that there’s going to be a lot of people who don’t think like an owner, and you should always be thinking like you are the owner of the business, and make your decisions like that.”..Empathy is more important as he matured: "Now I have a basic belief that almost everyone wants to contribute and do well. Some people, for a whole variety of reasons, have difficulty doing that, and at least an attempt or two should be made to try to help them."...I’ve always felt that the world is filled with smart people who love complicating stuff. Working to simplify, to try to get down to that first principle, is really important.....My feeling is that companies that do well for long stretches of time have a tendency to become either complacent or arrogant, and both of those are bad paths. So how do you prevent that? To me, you do that by trying to create this striving, challenging, questioning culture, where there’s always a smarter way of doing something, and you feel a permanent dissatisfaction with obtained results.
bonuses  empathy  CEOs  leadership  leaders  complacency  arrogance  hubris  hiring  organizational_culture  forward_looking  simplicity  Marsh_&_McLennan  owners  dissatisfaction  first_principle  restlessness 
july 2016 by jerryking
Andy Kessler: Potholes on the Uber Ride to Riches - WSJ
By ANDY KESSLER
Dec. 8, 2014

What should Uber do? Hiring expensive crisis managers is one option. Or do these four things that everyone else eventually figured out. Admit the mistake. Fire someone. Be transparent on the solution. Put guidelines in place to assure customers that this can’t happen again. Uber hasn’t done much of this but it should.... Those who run or work at startups are a different breed. Often computer science majors or engineers, they didn’t get invited to the cool parties. And then when they came up with ideas for products or companies, just about everyone, from parents to friends, told them they were crazy. That’ll never work, they said. Get a job at IBM like your uncle. But instead these entrepreneurs persist, usually failing a time or two. Mr. Kalanick started a peer-to-peer file-sharing company called Scour that went belly up in 2000.

Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, sometimes to angel investors like dentists and accountants with extra cash, but more often to venture capitalists looking to fund the next big thing. As a venture capitalist, I’ve been pitched thousands of times, and entrepreneurs often peddle market-size projections and future sales predictions that are creative, if not fictional.

Those who win funding wake up every day and ask what they can do to make this thing work. Hubris becomes an asset. Startup CEOs are always saying the goal is to “suck the oxygen out of the room” of their competitors. Success requires a certain bravado. That should be encouraged, but most entrepreneurs have no idea when to turn it off.
hubris  Uber  sharing_economy  ride_sharing  Andy_Kessler  guardrails  start_ups  organizational_culture  entrepreneur  torchbearers  founders 
february 2015 by jerryking
A look under the hood takes some shine off Uber - The Globe and Mail
IAN McGUGAN
A look under the hood takes some shine off Uber Add to ...
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The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 19 2014
Uber  hubris  ride_sharing 
november 2014 by jerryking
Nokia a lesson for backers of Canada’s nanny state - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 17 2014 | The Globe and Mail | BRIAN LEE CROWLEY.

How did it all go so wrong? And what might Canada learn from Finland’s downfall?

One obvious conclusion is not to put all your eggs in one basket, but it goes well beyond that. There was a time when economic change worked slowly enough that you could get a generation or two’s employment out of an industry before it was overtaken by innovation. Detroit dominated automobile manufacturing for many decades before its own complacency and the innovativeness of European and Asian producers came into play. In a similar vein, Nokia allowed itself to believe in its own infallibility, and Finland meekly followed suit. But the forces of change are now so powerful and lightning fast that sometimes a single product release from a competitor can signal the death knell of a previously healthy company or industry....Canada is rife with industries with their heads stuck in the sand, almost invariably because they believe they can shelter behind a friendly bureaucrat with a rulebook.

Examples abound in fields as diverse as telecoms, dairy, airlines, broadcasting, taxis and transport. Could there have been a bigger farce than the CRTC’s attempt to manhandle online content provider Netflix?...The real lesson of Nokia’s demise was that there is no substitute for being driven by what customers want, which is quality products and service at the lowest possible price...Every deviation from this relentless focus on what customers actually want makes your market a tasty morsel for the disrupters.
concentration_risk  Nokia  Finland  mobile_phones  disruption  Netflix  Uber  CRTC  complacency  accelerated_lifecycles  protectionism  nanny_state  customer_focus  change_agents  Finnish  demand-driven  lessons_learned  automotive_industry  downfall  change  warning_signs  signals  customer-driven  infallibility  overconfidence  hubris  staying_hungry 
october 2014 by jerryking
Finding Strength in Humility - NYTimes.com
November 15, 2013 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ

When we identify with a particular strength, the opposite we’re avoiding is almost always negative. For confidence, it’s insecurity or self-doubt. But what happens when we overuse confidence? It turns into arrogance, hubris and even grandiosity. Any strength overused eventually becomes toxic. Excessive honesty becomes cruelty. Tenacity congeals into rigidity. Bias for action can overwhelm thoughtful reflection.

This is where positive opposites serve as a balancing and humanizing role. Humility comes from the Latin word “humilis,” which literally means “low.” It resides just a stone’s throw from “humiliation.” Sure enough, excessive humility eventually softens into obsequiousness and self-subjugation. False humility is even worse: a conscious manipulation covertly aimed at winning praise, often to compensate for unacknowledged feelings of inadequacy.

But genuine humility is a reflection of neither weakness nor insecurity. Instead, it implies a respectful appreciation of the strengths of others, a lack of personal pretension and a more relaxed sense of confidence that doesn’t require external recognition.

In a complex world that so plainly and painfully defies easy answers, humility is also an antidote to overconfidence. It gives leaders permission to accept and acknowledge their limitations, to learn from them and continue to grow and evolve.....I don’t need to say out loud that I value confidence and strength. I do need to demonstrate that I also value humility and vulnerability – to embrace these opposites. In the end, the less time we spend protecting our own value, the more time we can spend creating value in the world.
Managing_Your_Career  humility  opposing_actions  personality_types/traits  character_traits  strengths  contemplation  reflections  pairs  overconfidence  dual-consciousness  self-doubt  arrogance  hubris  grandiosity  confidence  insecurity  honesty  cruelty  tenacity  rigidity  toxic_behaviors 
november 2013 by jerryking
The confessions of Michael Ignatieff
Sep. 26 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente.

Like a flawed Greek hero, Mr. Ignatieff believes that his greatest sin was hubris – which, in case you have to look it up, is ambition combined with pride and ignorance. He actually believed the three Liberal operatives who showed up on his doorstep in Boston one day and persuaded him that they could pave the way for him to Sussex Drive. (“The men in black,” he calls them). He had no idea that the Liberal Party was in such bad shape, that it had largely destroyed itself through infighting, scandals and intellectual exhaustion, or that the piggy bank was empty....A decade ago, Mr. Ignatieff wrote a widely praised but little-read novel called Charlie Johnson in the Flames. Charlie is an American journalist working in Bosnia.
Michael_Ignatieff  Margaret_Wente  Liberals  hubris 
september 2013 by jerryking
Maybe corporate guys should mind their business
November 17, 2001 | G&M |Russell Smith

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/maybe-corporate-guys-should-mind-their-business/article1034666/

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FOmbxn4lK9kAF2nPKH151NSwTik0aFKNGvxX8OSIY6k/edit

Business people should be way more humble and not act as know-it-alls when dealing with artists and academics.....A blind faith in the efficiency of commerce goes hand in hand with a faith in technology.
Russell_Smith  public_speaking  businessman_fallacy  platitudes  critical_thinking  hubris  skepticism  contrarians  speeches  artists  academics  sponsorships  humility 
march 2013 by jerryking
Ignatieff resigns after Liberal defeat - The Globe and Mail
Karl of Canuckistan

3:55 PM on May 3, 2011

I hate the typical liberal hubris in assuming that if someone chooses
not to vote for a big statist government it somehow means she is a
victim of a "hellish campaign of distortion and misinformation."
Liberals talk loudly about how they represent the common people, but
when the common people render a verdict against them it can't be that
the liberal's conception of themselves is wrong, it must be that the
poor, stupid, credulous masses were misinformed. These kind of
impotently pompous notions posited by this liberal twit typifies the
problem ... elitist and wrong and is why, in a nutshell, the Canadian
people bailed and you lost.
Enjoy the wilderness!
Liberals  hubris  Michael_Ignatieff  resignations  elections  letters_to_the_editor 
may 2011 by jerryking
Tapping Customers' Egos to Build a Web Presence - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 9, 2011 By MIKE MICHALOWICZ Two words: a prospect's
first and last name. Feature these in a positive light and that's all
you need to generate genuine interest in your company. Best of all, when
you use the crowdsourcing method, it's free—free user-driven content,
free publicity for your business and free "good will" for your brand.
jck  crowdsourcing  websites  running_a_business  goodwill  user_generated  hubris 
march 2011 by jerryking
U.S. Technology Dominance? Think Again
December 30, 2004 | WSJ | Richard Parenteau. Andy Kessler’s
Dec. 23 editorial-page commentary “ We Think, They Sweat “ is a prime
example of the hubris that will cause great loss to the U.S. economy and
loss of employment. He seems to believe that only in the U.S. can
inventions be made and new products designed....Mr. Kessler (and the
rest of us) must realize we are moving away from technology industries
and related employment to an economic model based on services that need a
person’s physical presence. We are fast losing our ability to compete
where the work can move elsewhere. The “thinking” barriers of university
education, experienced labor force, critical technology research
centers, etc. that kept high-prestige, high-pay jobs here in the U.S.
have fallen. Until we start “thinking” about shaping our future
opportunities, given the new facts of life, we are the ones who will be
“sweating.”
America_in_Decline?  Andy_Kessler  barriers_to_entry  college-educated  face2face  high-wage  hubris  in-person  letters_to_the_editor  services 
october 2010 by jerryking
China debates its brashness
Aug. 19, 2010 | Globe & Mail | Frank Ching. "In another
sign of Chinese assertiveness, Song Xiaojun, a Chinese military
commentator with China Central TV, said Beijing is ready to take over as
the “world’s policeman” if Washington is no longer able to discharge
this role. Despite this outpouring of nationalistic sentiment, there
are moderate voices arguing that China should continue to keep a low
profile and not become arrogant."..."Ye Hailin, a researcher with the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, warned against arrogance in an
online article in the People’s Daily headlined “Narcissism poisons the
people.” The Chinese, he said, “are no longer modest. They talk about
Seoul and Tokyo with contempt, and even boast Beijing and Shanghai, the
two biggest Chinese cities, could soon match NYC and Paris.” The
problem, as Mr. Ye saw it, was that some Chinese can’t stand criticism.
He and other scholars raise a question: Is the world misunderstanding
China, or is China itself to blame?"
Frank_Chin  China  China_rising  PLA  Beijing  scholars  hubris  narcissism  assertiveness  misunderstandings  readiness 
august 2010 by jerryking
China, the World's Capital - New York Times
May 22, 2005 | NYT | by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF. Supremacy,
particularly for individual cities, is fleeting. What can NYC learn from
a city like Kaifeng? (1) The importance of sustaining a technological
edge and sound economic policies. Ancient China flourished partly
because of pro-growth, pro-trade policies and technological innovations
like curved iron plows, printing and paper money. But then China came to
scorn trade and commerce, and per capita income stagnated for 600 yrs.
(2) The danger of hubris, for China concluded it had nothing to learn
from the rest of the world - and that was the beginning of the end. I
worry about the U.S. in both regards. Our economic management is so lax
that we can't confront farm subsidies or long-term budget deficits. Our
technology is strong, but American public schools are 2nd-rate in math
and science. And Americans' lack of interest in the world contrasts with
the restlessness, drive and determination that are again pushing China
to the forefront.
Nicholas_Kristof  China  China_rising  New_York_City  hubris  parochialism  insularity  impermanence  restlessness  public_schools  incurious  ignorance  second-rate  America_in_Decline?  U.S. 
march 2010 by jerryking
The Last Tycoon? - WSJ.com
April 9, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | By JOSEPH EPSTEIN.
Op-ed on Sam Zell's bid to buy the Chicago Tribune. Owning a newspaper,
not as one's principal source of income but as a sideline of sorts, has
in recent years attracted lots of very rich men (Zellionaires, one
might henceforth think of them). Mortimer Zuckerman appears to derive
much pleasure from owning the New York Daily News, a hedge-funder named
Michael Steinhardt has a large investment in the New York Sun on which
he hoped for more than mere financial returns; David Geffen and Ronald
Burkle have declared their eagerness to acquire the Los Angeles Times,
now owned by Mr. Zell.
newspapers  Jewish  Sam_Zell  hubris  real_estate  moguls 
february 2010 by jerryking
From McNamara to Obama - WSJ.com
JULY 8, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | Bret Stephens. "But no
Nobel was required to understand that rationalism isn't a synonym for
reason, much less common sense,"
Bret_Stephens  hubris  Vietnam_War  elitism  rationalism  retrospectives  Robert_McNamara  SecDef 
july 2009 by jerryking

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