jerryking + humility   58

Dyson and the art of making quick decisions
October 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Gapper.

Article is arguing for enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions and to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in your industry/business.

Entrepreneur, James Dyson, unceremoniously abandoned a Dyson initiative to build an electric car.  It demonstrated how unsentimental he was about unsuccessful experiments.....Better to acknowledge defeat as early as possible rather than after having thrown away hundreds of millions...For any business to thrive, difficult decisions need to be made, from new projects to corporate strategy. “The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions,” wrote Ram Charan, a veteran strategy adviser. This is especially true when entire industries are facing disruption to their business models......Indecision is common in companies facing myriad possibilities, when executives are struggling to assess alternatives for future strategy. Many managers become frustrated by the glacial pace of corporate decision-making. McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed executives who complained of “over-reliance on consensus and death by committee”, among other irritations....It is not always the chief executive’s fault. Some managers are comfortable with making simple decisions but struggle when they are promoted to a level where they are exposed to ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to employ their judgment, rather than consulting the data like an oracle. Their indecision can also infect the CEO. But your business is not a democracy....Some executives promote a “five second rule” to prompt executives who report to them to reach decisions (i.e. summarise the alternatives and options for any strategy, pause and pick one).....Being forced to use intuition after considering the evidence helps to avoid being paralysed by a question when there is no easy answer......Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, observed that “managers think of themselves as captains of a ship on a stormy sea” who respond skilfully to the elements around them. It feels better to pick a destination and sail in that direction than to wallow around.....But Prof Kahneman won his economics Nobel for research on the cognitive biases that affect human choices. Making quick decisions, even informed by experience and expertise, is valuable but not foolproof. As he noted, “intuition feels just the same when it’s wrong and when it’s right, that’s the problem.”....Those who consider a challenge from all angles and act prudently and decisively may still be wrong. “Even highly experienced, superbly competent and well-intentioned managers are fallible,” Prof Kahneman wrote. Among the traps is the “halo effect” of believing that an executive who has succeeded before will make any project work. It follows that leaders should not be trapped by their decisions, or the confirmation bias of believing that the chosen path must be correct...... It is difficult when a leader place the entire company on another course, only to discover the pitfalls. It may take a successor to come along and reverse those choices. But decisions will at least prove right some of the time; indecision is always mistaken.
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  CEOs  clock_speed  confirmation_bias  decision_making  Daniel_Kahneman  Dyson  halo_effects  hard_choices  HBR  humility  indecision  intuition  leaders  James_Dyson  judgment  mistakes  Ram_Charan  shot_clock  speed  tough-mindedness  uncertainty  unsentimental 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
We need to be better at predicting bad outcomes
September 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Harford.

A question some of us ask all too often, and some of us not often enough: what if it all [jk: our plan] goes wrong?.....we don’t think about worst-case scenarios in the right way......
The first problem is that our sense of risk is pretty crude. The great psychologist Amos Tversky joked that most of us have three categories when thinking about probabilities: “gonna happen”, “not gonna happen” and “maybe”.....It would be helpful if our sense of risk was a little more refined; intuitively, it is hard to grasp the difference between a risk of one in a billion and that of one in a thousand. Yet, for a gambler — or someone in the closely related business of insurance — there is all the difference in the world.....research by Barbara Mellers, Philip Tetlock and Hal Arkes suggests that making a serious attempt to put probabilities on uncertain future events might help us in other ways: the process makes us more humble, more moderate and better able to discern shades of grey. Trying to forecast is about more than a successful prediction......we can become sidetracked by the question of whether the worst case is likely. Rather than asking “will this happen?”, we should ask “what would we do if it did?”

The phrase “worst-case scenario” probably leads us astray: anyone can dream up nightmare scenarios.....To help us think sensibly about these worst-case possibilities, Gary Klein, psychologist and author of Seeing What Others Don’t, has argued for conducting “pre-mortems” — or hypothetical postmortems. Before embarking on a project, imagine receiving a message from the future: the project failed, and spectacularly. Now ask yourself: why? Risks and snares will quickly suggest themselves — often risks that can be anticipated and prevented.......Contingency planning is not always easy......woes that would result both as the “base case” (the truth) and a “worst-case scenario” (the government sucking in its stomach while posing for a selfie).
================================================
In our increasingly airbrushed world, it becomes ever more necessary to ask the unfashionable questions like ‘what could possibly go wrong?’ - and then plan for it...
================================================
Humanity's survival may well rely on the ability of our imaginations to explore alternative futures in order to begin building the communities that can forestall or endure worst-case catastrophes.
================================================
Amos_Tversky  anticipating  base_rates  beforemath  books  contingency_planning  discernment  failure  forecasting  foresight  frequency_and_severity  humility  nuanced  predictions  preparation  probabilities  risk-assessment  risks  Tim_Harford  uncertainty  worst-case 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
Focus | Three things I wish I knew the day I became a Cabinet minister
March 27, 2019 | The Nassau Guardian | • Zhivargo Laing is a Bahamian economic consultant and former Cabinet minister who represented the Marco City constituency in the House of Assembly.
Bahamas  Caribbean  humility  lessons_learned  politicians  think_threes 
march 2019 by jerryking
Exploring the dark side of leadership - The Globe and Mail
JUSTIN WEINHARDT
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JANUARY 14, 2015
UPDATED MAY 12, 2018

The first three characteristics of this dark side are commonly referred to as the Dark Triad. ....overconfidence can be the fourth characteristic, leading to a dark square of leadership.

Machiavellianism - characterized by manipulative tactics, a pessimistic view of humanity and an emphasis on efficiency over moral principles.... individuals who exhibit Machiavellianism will lie, manipulate and exploit others to get their way.

Psychopathy - not just a characteristic of serial killers. Individuals high on psychopathy have poor impulse control, show little remorse for others, including individuals they harm, and lack concern for the morality of their actions. They use threats and hard tactics in the workplace to gain status and get ahead.

Narcissism - have extremely inflated views of themselves, with grandiose plans for their future.

Overconfidence - "Act as if you have unmatched confidence and then people will surely have confidence in you," says Jordan Belfort in his book The Wolf of Wall Street. This is sad but true. Individuals who exemplify overconfidence are better able to influence others and gain their trust.

So, what is an organization to do about the dark side of leadership? Those who are passionate about leadership must shine a light on the dark side.

The bright side of leadership: Humility -- "an interpersonal characteristic that emerges in social contexts that connotes (a) a manifested willingness to view oneself accurately, (b) displayed appreciation of others' strengths and contributions, and (c) teachability." Leaders with greater humility are better able to deal with the realities of the modern economy such as shocks, rapid technological advances and uncertain demand. On the strategic side, humble leaders will be less overconfident and risky.
leadership  dark_side  humility  leaders  ethical  Niccolo_Machiavelli 
june 2018 by jerryking
My Advice to Grads: Start Mopping - WSJ
By Tyler Bonin
May 28, 2018

A mop, used for cleaning floors, isn’t a magical tool for success. Rather, it is a reminder that there should be no task considered beneath you.......I had plenty of practice in this area as a former Marine Corps private, so I always volunteered for the job......My managers noticed. They named me employee of the month and promoted me to management for the holiday rush—a small success at a small store. I learned that a sense of entitlement is a burden. ......I volunteered for the necessary task, signaling my work ethic and dedication to the organization.......A successful consultant told me that after graduating from a top-tier university, he spent a year piecing together tedious part-time jobs while volunteering at startups—only to prove himself. As competitive as the U.S. economy is, efforts like this are only becoming more common.....Certainly there is a time to be bold, but there is also a time for humility. A task once considered beneath you could actually be the key to your success. Do the job nobody wants, because, believe it or not, somebody appreciates it. Volunteer to learn and to provide value to others. Find a dream job by first doing the rote tasks in that field, without complaint. Pick up a mop
advice  cleaning  commencement  entitlements  humility  new_graduates  office_housework  speeches  USMC  volunteering  work_ethic  workplaces 
may 2018 by jerryking
My top 5 investing lessons after 30 years as an economist
September 25th | The Globe and Mail | DAVID ROSENBERG.

After 30 years of experience as a Street economist, you pick up a lot of learning lessons – especially from the mistakes made along the way. Here are my top five below:

* Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (concentrated portfolios but diversified geographically and across the asset classes);
* There is no such thing as a sure thing (the forecast is just a base case across a continuum of possibilities across a distribution curve);
* Marry your partner, not your forecast – it may not love you back (what gets economists into trouble is lack of humility; admitting you’re wrong is never easy);
* If you don’t have a Plan B, you don’t have a plan. If you are wrong, it is imperative to know in what direction – and delineate the new course of action;
* Anything that can’t last forever, won’t last forever.
concentration_risk  economists  investing  lessons_learned  Plan_B  diversification  Bay_Street  Wall_Street  market_corrections  bear_markets  mistakes  forecasting  economic_cycles  beyondtheU.S.  Gluskin_Sheff  David_Rosenberg  probabilities  humility  contingency_planning  never_forever  asset_classes 
september 2017 by jerryking
Daniel S. Schwartz of Restaurant Brands International on the Value of Hard Work
SEPT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times| By ADAM BRYANT.

When you think about your leadership style today, do you see their[his parent's] influence?

Probably the biggest influence they’ve had is about always being very respectful of other people. Neither of them led teams or organizations, but there was always this emphasis on kindness and manners and just being a good person.

I always have that in the back of my head, regardless of who I’m talking to. The world’s a small place, life’s short, and so you should only be nice to people. I don’t raise my voice at work. I don’t have tantrums.......Alex Behring, who heads up 3G, gave me some great advice early on. He said that you have to manage the people, not the business. .....What were other early lessons for you?

If you want to change something or if you want to really influence or impact someone, you need to be in that person’s market and be with them face to face. You can’t run a multinational business from your desk. You can’t just get on the phone and tell the people that you need to do things differently.

If you make the trip, that’s a big investment of time for you. People appreciate that, and they’re going to be more open to your feedback. You’ll also have more credibility because you’ve seen their business and been in their market......How do you hire?

I like people who are passionate, who have persevered and who are clearly humble and not arrogant. It’s O.K. to be confident, but not arrogant. I like people who genuinely are looking for a project and not a job.
CEOs  hard_work  Tim_Hortons  Popeyes  Burger_King  hiring  leadership  3G_Capital  RBI  Daniel_Schwartz  lessons_learned  humility 
september 2017 by jerryking
Rick Levin on Moving From the Ivy League to Silicon Valley
APRIL 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

One skill that I improved on gradually was listening. If you want to understand people, you need to hear them. If you have to say “no” to people, it’s helpful to be able to explain authentically that I understood you, but here’s my decision. You have to see the nonverbal cues, too, and think a little deeper about what the person is saying. Often that’s situational or contextual, and sometimes it’s deeply psychological.

Humility is also important, and it has to be really genuine. You see a lot of C.E.O.s who are very egocentric, domineering people who succeed just because they have a great idea. But people who put the organization and mission first are more likely to succeed than people who put themselves first. People admire that kind of person and they resonate with them because they share a belief.

A good leader has to have some vision, too — ambitious goals to lift the organization up and everybody with it. Setting goals that are ambitious but also achievable is an important skill.
CEOs  Coursera  Yale  Silicon_Valley  nonverbal  say_"no"  leaders  listening  humility  mission-driven 
april 2017 by jerryking
Trump offering a timely cautionary tale on trying to run government as a business
Mar. 31, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ADAM RADWANSKI.

.The enduring appeal of this hoariest of political clichés – some variation of making government run more like a business – is such that it surely seemed to Mr. Trump’s admirers like confirmation of the real-world expertise he seduced them with on the campaign trail....Mr. Trump is already providing cautionary tales. A management style that encourages factions in his employ to compete against each other for his attention is a proven recipe for chaos in government. His blustery approach to negotiations has yet to show many signs of working with foreign leaders. Most consequentially, so far, a lack of attention to detail, which could be overcome when delegating to underlings at his companies, proved devastating in the first legislative test of his administration – the President unable to sell fellow Republicans on his health-care plan, in part because he did not know details about the bill.......The more time one spends in or around governments, the more obvious it is why attempts to bring a Wall Street or Bay Street mentality to them can end badly.

Ethical scrutiny, for all that entrepreneurs-turned-politicians paint capital cities as swamps, is greater than in the corporate world. And because governments get more attention for failures than quiet successes, tolerance for risk is often lower.

Healthy tension with career civil servants can turn unhealthy if politicians and their staffs do not make honest efforts to understand and engage bureaucrats. And the overarching reality is that, in government, goals and outcomes are more complex, abstract and intuitive than when they can be measured by profit margins.

Business titans can triumph in politics – a Michael Bloomberg in New York, a Danny Williams in Newfoundland. And public-sector culture is often stagnant, and benefits from outside eyes. But the disruptors’ success usually involves a willingness to admit (privately) what they do not know about government, and trust people who understand it better.
Donald_Trump  delusions  business_interests  national_interests  humility  clichés  political_clichés  bureaucrats  government  business  public_sector  pro-business  cautionary_tales 
april 2017 by jerryking
Beware of linearity: The shortest distance to your future may not be a straight line - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2016

linearity – dominates our thinking as we tackle problems. “Western thinkers are so habituated to thinking in terms of linear models that we allow them to inform not just what we think, but the fundamentals of how we think....Linearity is a critical and – apparently – inherent part of our cultural DNA....It’s not easy to forsake linearity...it’s essential to guard against slavishly following its tantalizing direction. Start by reading trade journals from another industry or studying a topic you have no interest in. Look for the less obvious interconnections around you. Think like a songwriter: Choruses and bridges signal a break with the preceding verse or the patterns that come before. But a true bridge, unlike a chorus, never repeats. They urge you to look for bridge moments rather than assume past is prologue.
=========================
Leaders are supposed to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear. But fact checkers found Mr. Trump consistently at odds with the truth. And his supporters didn’t seem to care, assuming leaders lie anyway. TV host Stephen Colbert used the term “truthiness” to cover believing something that feels true even if it isn’t supported by fact. Says Fowler: “I wonder if truth-telling matters when people are interested in bigger issues?”
=========================
One of the highly touted productivity approaches is to tackle your most important thing (MIT) at the start of the day. Get it done before the chaos of the day overwhelms you.

But productivity writer Cal Newport, a Georgetown University computer science professor, feels the approach is insufficient – calling it “amateur ball” while the professionals play a more textured game.

The problem is that it implicitly concedes that most of your day is out of your control. But someone who plans every minute of their day and every day of their week will inevitably accomplish far more high-value work than someone who identifies only a single daily objective. The key, he feels, is to put enough buffers in your day to handle the unplanned stuff that hits you. With those slices of times and a spirit of adaptability you will find your work life not as unpredictable as you assume.
early_risers  linearity  Harvey_Schachter  thinking  humility  Donald_Trump  unplanned  unforeseen  buffering  GTD  productivity  discontinuities  nonlinear_systems  randomness  interconnections  Jim_Collins  truthiness  truth-telling  slack_time  adaptability  overwhelmed  time-management  unexpected  Cal_Newport  straight-lines  bridging  non-obvious 
december 2016 by jerryking
From Michael Lewis, a Portrait of the Men Who Shaped ‘Moneyball’ - The New York Times
By ALEXANDRA ALTERDEC. 3, 2016
Lewis decided to explore how it started.

The inquiry led him to the work of two Israeli psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose discoveries challenged long-held beliefs about human nature and the way the mind works.

Mr. Lewis chronicles their unusual partnership in his new book, “The Undoing Project,” a story about two unconventional thinkers who saw the world differently from everyone around them. Their peculiar area of research — how humans make decisions, often irrationally — has had profound implications for an array of fields, like professional sports, the military, medicine, politics, finance and public health.....Tversky and Kahneman's research demonstrating how people behave in fundamentally irrational ways when making decisions, relying on their gut rather than available data, gave rise to the field of behavioral economics. That discipline attracted Paul DePodesta, a Harvard student, who later went into sports management and helped upend professional baseball when he went to work for Mr. Beane.....Unlike many nonfiction writers, Mr. Lewis declines to take advances, which he calls “corrupting,” even though he could easily earn seven figures. Instead, he splits the profits from the books, as well as the advertising and production costs, with Norton. The setup spurs him to work harder and to make more money if the books are successful, he says.

“You should have the risk and you should enjoy the reward,” he said. “It’s not healthy for an author not to have the risk.”
Amos_Tversky  Michael_Lewis  Moneyball  books  book_reviews  unconventional_thinking  biases  cognitive_skills  unknowns  information_gaps  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  overconfidence  conventional_wisdom  overestimation  metacognition  behavioural_economics  irrationality  decision_making  nonfiction  writers  self-awareness  self-analysis  self-reflective  proclivities  Daniel_Kahneman  psychologists  delusions  self-delusions  skin_in_the_game  gut_feelings  risk-taking  partnerships 
december 2016 by jerryking
What Ben Franklin Could Teach Us About Civility and Politics - WSJ
By STEVEN C. BULLOCK
Nov. 7, 2016

As Ben Franklin once said: "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Benjamin_Franklin  Founding_Fathers  politeness  civility  humility  politics  quotes 
november 2016 by jerryking
Engineer Extraordinaire, Charles Ceres, is a ‘Special Person’
Oct 30, 2016 | Kaieteur News | By Sharmain Grainger.

“I want people to remember Charles Ceres the person, not what profession I was in. Whatever I have acquired hasn’t changed me. The difference between me and a lot of people is that I know the difference between who I am and what I do…what I do is not who I am.”
Queen’s  alumni  engineering  humility  Afro-Guyanese  management_consulting  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship 
october 2016 by jerryking
Inside the mind of a venture capitalist | McKinsey & Company
August 2016 | McK | Steve Jurvetson is a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Michael Chui,
(1) entrepreneurs who have infectious enthusiasm.
(2) sector of the economy believed to be experiencing rapid growth/ massive disruptive change.
(3) wide range of industries, from synthetic biology to rockets to electric cars to a variety of sectors that weren’t ripe for venture investment in prior decades but now are becoming software businesses.
(4) attributes and people somewhat similar to what I look for in the team at work: enough self-confidence to be humble about what it’s proposing and respect for the team over individuals
How should large companies respond? The large companies that are most exciting to me are the ones that innovate outside their core. big companies need to innovate outside their core businesses. The biggest start-up: Space.
Steve_Jurvetson  McKinsey  DFJ  venture_capital  teams  vc  disruption  space  large_companies  software  core_businesses  Moore's_Law  machine_learning  passions  Elon_Musk  accelerated_lifecycles  space_travel  innovation  self-confidence  humility 
august 2016 by jerryking
The Power of ‘Why?’ and ‘What If?’ - The New York Times
JULY 2, 2016 | New York Times | By WARREN BERGER.

business leaders want the people working around them to be more curious, more cognizant of what they don’t know, and more inquisitive — about everything, including “Why am I doing my job the way I do it?” and “How might our company find new opportunities?”....Companies in many industries today must contend with rapid change and rising uncertainty. In such conditions, even a well-established company cannot rest on its expertise; there is pressure to keep learning what’s new and anticipating what’s next. It’s hard to do any of that without asking questions.

Steve Quatrano, a member of the Right Question Institute, a nonprofit research group, explains that the act of formulating questions enables us “to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.” This makes questioning a good skill to hone in dynamic times.....So how can companies encourage people to ask more questions? There are simple ways to train people to become more comfortable and proficient at it. For example, question formulation exercises can be used as a substitute for conventional brainstorming sessions. The idea is to put a problem or challenge in front of a group of people and instead of asking for ideas, instruct participants to generate as many relevant questions as they can.......Getting employees to ask more questions is the easy part; getting management to respond well to those questions can be harder.......think of “what if” and “how might we” questions about the company’s goals and plans........Leaders can also encourage companywide questioning by being more curious and inquisitive themselves.
asking_the_right_questions  questions  curiosity  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  unknowns  leadership  innovation  idea_generation  ideas  information_gaps  cost_of_inaction  expertise  anticipating  brainstorming  dynamic  change  uncertainty  rapid_change  inquisitiveness  Dr.Alexander's_Question  incisiveness  leaders  companywide 
july 2016 by jerryking
Drew Houston of Dropbox: Figure Out the Things You Don’t Know - The New York Times
By ADAM BRYANT JUNE 3, 2016

What were some early leadership lessons after starting Dropbox?

The first thing is having a healthy paranoia for trying to find out what you don’t know that you don’t know. The question I would ask myself — even in the beginning, and I still do today — is, six months from now, 12 months from now, five years from now, what will I wish I had been doing today or learning today?

Reading has been essential. I have always wondered why people put so much energy into trying to have coffee with some famous entrepreneur when reading a book is like getting many hours of their most crystallized thoughts.
Dropbox  CEOs  organizational_culture  unknowns  paranoia  reading  lessons_learned  information_gaps  humility  pretense_of_knowledge 
june 2016 by jerryking
Dear MPs not picked for cabinet: Get over it - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 04, 2015 | The Globe and Mail | BARRY CAMPBELL.

The political arena is not for the meek. There is much to learn and some of that is hard: how to create distance between brain and mouth so you are not the subject of an unfortunate headline and a nasty call from the Prime Minister’s Office; how to make everyone still like you even when you couldn’t do much to help; and how to be patient knowing that you can’t fix everything. Victories may be few and small, but still worth it.

You will learn from your caucus colleagues (each of whom thinks he or she is as smart and deserving as you) and learn how to give credit when it is due and when to keep your own counsel. Learn how to live to fight another day, how to speak at caucus meetings and be noticed (humour helps) and how to be a partisan loyalist and a relentless self-promoter without losing your soul and the still be the person who came to Ottawa to serve their country.

My advice is this: Your power will come through how well you develop and manage relationships – with the cabinet, your colleagues, Hill staff, civil servants and even the opposition. Your lack of an official portfolio means that you can be more objective and provide cabinet ministers with an unvarnished perspective they’ll appreciate (mostly).

Pick both your battles and causes carefully. Most important, pick an issue and be its voice. Make it yours. (or...use your political_capital wisely)
advice  appointments  Justin_Trudeau  politics  politicians  serving_others  political_capital  wisdom  humility  self-promotion  self-starters  House_of_Commons  influence  PMO  relationships  speaking_up  the_Cabinet 
november 2015 by jerryking
2014’s lessons for leaders: Don’t make assumptions, do make hard decisions - The Globe and Mail
BOB RAE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 26 2014,

Life has a way of lifting you by the lapels and giving you a good shake. Stuff happens, and when it does, it can throw all the steady paths predicted by pundits, pollsters and economic forecasters into the trash heap....Canadians are fixated on who the winners and losers of the "where will oil prices head" game ...but we need to lift our heads a bit. Russia’s falling ruble and the debt crisis of its elites and their companies have rightly grabbed headlines. But a couple of countries, notably Nigeria and Venezuela, are now in political crisis, and their very stability is at risk in the days ahead.

One of the implications of the 2008 world economic crisis is that regional and world institutions have much less room to manoeuvre and help sort things out. it will be harder for those agencies (EU, IMF) to do as much as is required. Stability doesn’t come cheap....a healthy dose of reality and skepticism is always a good idea. In a useful piece of advice, Rudyard Kipling reminded us that triumph and disaster are both imposters. People draw too many conclusions from current trends. They fail to understand that those trends can change. And that above all, they forget that events can get in the way....One clear lesson is for leaders everywhere to learn the importance of listening and engagement. The path to resolution of even the thorniest of problems...involves less rhetoric and bluster and a greater capacity to understand underlying interests and grievances. ... Engagement should never mean appeasement.
Bob_Rae  pundits  decision_making  leaders  unintended_consequences  predictions  WWI  humility  Toronto  traffic_congestion  crisis  instability  listening  engagement  unpredictability  Rudyard_Kipling  petro-politics  imposters  short-sightedness  amnesia_bias  interests  grievances  appeasement  hard_choices 
december 2014 by jerryking
31 Fantastic Pieces Of Advice For Surviving Your First Year On Wall Street
Knowing what you don't know is more useful than being brilliant.

"Confucius said that real knowledge is knowing the extent of one’s ignorance. Aristotle and Socrates said the same thing. ... Thin...
advice  humility  information_gaps  uncertainty  pretense_of_knowledge  Socrates  Wall_Street  from notes
september 2014 by jerryking
The Mental Virtues - NYTimes.com
AUG. 28, 2014| NYT | David Brooks.

Thinking well under a barrage of information may be a different sort of moral challenge than fighting well under a hail of bullets, but it’s a character challenge nonetheless. In their 2007 book, “Intellectual Virtues,” Robert C. Roberts of Baylor University and W. Jay Wood of Wheaton College list some of the cerebral virtues. We can all grade ourselves on how good we are at each of them.

First, there is love of learning.
Second, there is courage. Not just the willingness to hold unpopular views. But the subtler form, which is knowing how much risk to take in jumping to conclusions. Reckless thinkers take scraps of information and leaps to some faraway conspiracy theories. Perfectionists are silenced, except under ideal conditions, for fear of being wrong. Intellectual courage is self-regulation--knowing when to be daring and when to be cautious. And guarding against confirmation bias.

Third, there is firmness. Don’t be the person who surrenders his beliefs at the slightest whiff of opposition. On the other hand, you don’t want to hold dogmatically to a belief against all evidence. The median point between flaccidity and rigidity is the virtue of firmness.

Fourth, there is humility, which is not letting your own desire for status get in the way of accuracy. Fight against vanity and self-importance.

Fifth, there is autonomy. Don’t be a person who slavishly adopts whatever opinion your teacher or some author gives you. On the other hand, don’t reject all guidance from people who know what they are talking about. Autonomy is the median of knowing when to bow to authority and when not to, when to follow a role model and when not to, when to adhere to tradition and when not to.[In this case, autonomy sounds a lot like judgment]

Finally, there is generosity. This virtue starts with the willingness to share knowledge and give others credit. But it also means hearing others as they would like to be heard, looking for what each person has to teach and not looking to triumphantly pounce upon their errors.
David_Brooks  thinking  howto  cognitive_skills  biases  virtues  humility  intellectual_courage  courage  autonomy  resolve  generosity  praise  grace  firmness  confirmation_bias  self-regulation  recklessness  cerebral  perfection  independent_viewpoints  discernment  self-importance  pairs 
august 2014 by jerryking
Relax
1. Develop your own personal operating system. Carve out and define your own reality, philosophy, values, and interests rather than automatically accepting those of your family, peers, religion, or culture.

2. Begin to let go of the need for validation. Don’t be motivated by the opinions or others or the desire for recognition. Be driven by what is important to you and what you value.

3. Trust your instincts and allow for experimentation. Get to know yourself and discover what you enjoy and find exciting, even if you have to fail a few times.
4. Accept others as they are. Begin letting go of judgments and criticism of others. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their faults. Learn to deal with difficult people without diminishing yourself.

5. Really hear people. Go beyond just listening and understanding. Let people know that you really get them.

6. Take care of unresolved matters in your life. Restore your integrity. Forgive and ask for forgiveness where necessary. Reclaim the energy you have given to these matters.

7. Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get some form of exercise daily. Eat healthy foods that support your body, not your emotions. Do this because you respect yourself, not to impress others.

8. Cause things to happen. Don’t wait for them. Be a creator, an instigator, a collaborator. Share your enthusiasm.

9. Show people you care. Don’t just talk about it. Show them in ways that are meaningful to them, not you.

10. Require the best of people. See them not only for who they are, but who they can be. Lovingly reflect that vision to them.

11. Ensure your own needs are met. Discern your primary needs, and communicate fully what is important and valuable to you in your relationships. Don’t compromise these to keep peace or hang on.

12. Speak constructively. Use your words to uplift, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Don’t offer “constructive criticism” or subtle digs.

13. Laugh easily. Have a lightness about you. Take life less seriously and choose to find and create fun and joy.

14. Cease gossip. Choose not to talk about others in ways that are openly or subtlety critical. Don’t share information for the feeling of power or intrigue.

15. Make requests, not complaints. If you need something from someone, ask for it directly. Don’t whine or complain to them or others.

16. Handle situations fully. Kindly but clearly deal with negative issues as soon as possible. Don’t tolerate anything if it causes resentments.

17. Be done with arguments. Smile and walk away until healthy communication is possible.

18. Offer help only when asked. Don’t assume that others want you to fix them or that you know best for them. Be available and give help only when asked.

19. Care deeply, but remain detached. Let others know you care deeply about them when they have problems, but don’t get caught up in their problems.

20. See with your heart, not your eyes. Look beyond superficiality when seeing someone. Financial status, appearance, notoriety, all mean nothing. Look for the authentic person inside.

21. Don’t say yes when you mean no. If you mean no, your yes will be harnessed with resentment. Say yes only when your yes is given freely.

22. Let others know you are grateful. Tell them and show them that you feel blessed to have them in your life.

23. Never play the guilt card. Don’t try to manipulate or hurt someone by trying to make them feel bad about their choices, decisions, or actions.

24. Give more than is expected. Don’t over-commit, but freely give more than you promise.

25. Be inter-developmental in your relationships. Don’t be controlling, dependent or co-dependent. Create relationships that are mutually uplifting, reward, and satisfying.

26. Be a big person. Don’t try to take credit, diminish others, or hold back on praise. Offer acknowledgment and power when it is needed and deserved.

27. Be confident enough to be humble. Be able to laugh at yourself, acknowledge your flaws and failures, and accept that they don’t define you.

28. Be open to learning. Don’t flaunt your intelligence or superior knowledge. Recognize that there is always something to learn, even from those who appear “less than.”

29. Be more engaged than engaging. Show your sincere interest in others. Use the word “you” more than “I.” Listen intently and reflect back to others who they are.

30. Give gifts that others want. Not just gifts to impress or that are important to you.

31. Challenge yourself constantly. Don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t languish in past accomplishments. Keep moving forward and exude enthusiasm about possibilities and the actions to make them happen.

32. Detach from adrenaline. Simplify your life enough so you are not rushed, stressed, cluttered, or distracted. Allow yourself time and room to focus.

33. Embrace the incredible power of now. Nothing is more valuable than this moment. Make it the best moment you possibly can right now.

34. Don’t fight the flow. Don’t struggle against people or situations you can’t control. Move effortlessly in a different direction.

35. Keep evolving. Stay on a path of self-improvement and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.
next_play  motivations  inspiration  strengths  affirmations  personal_growth  self-improvement  immediacy  simplicity  focus  movingonup  gift_ideas  listening  continuous_learning  humility  praise  relationships  overdeliver  gratitude  sincerity  authenticity  self-awareness  constructive_criticism  foregiveness  values  self-starters  healthy_lifestyles  gossip  self-analysis  self-assessment  self-satisfaction  complacency  personal_energy  span_of_control  disconnecting  rainmaking  individual_initiative  beyond_one's_control 
august 2014 by jerryking
4 Common Traits of the Best Chief Operating Officers
APRIL 4, 2014 | | Entrepreneur.com | Ryan Caldbeck.

1. They are strategic with a focus on details.
2. They appreciate talent.
3. They have no ego:
4. They are data driven:
COO  executive_management  ksfs  data_driven  humility  strategic_thinking  detail_oriented  best_of 
july 2014 by jerryking
After moving here, I think Americans would be happier if they were Canadians - The Globe and Mail
JACOB BUURMA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 30 2014

As a country with two official languages, there’s always a second opinion, a perennial need to co-operate across cultural lines to move forward. Until that moment, I didn’t grasp that humility, empathy and co-operation are the virtues that actually matter on the world stage.

Canadian theologian Victor Shepherd says that the depth of our relationships is measured by the degree to which they change us. If we have been married to someone for 35 years but remain unchanged, we actually don’t know our spouse at all....Americans tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves. I still find this a virtue, but no longer an unqualified one. In truth, my high-school football team set records for consecutive losses; something more than “pep” was needed to turn it around.

By comparison, I’ve found Canada’s capacity for honest observation a helpful corrective. After a dozen years north of the border, I’m listening more and speaking less. I’m more aware of “the other.”
crossborder  immigrants  relationships  Canadian  values  patriotism  virtues  humility  empathy  co-operation  world_stage 
july 2014 by jerryking
Here’s my list of the most obnoxious Torontonians - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 13 2014

Amy Alkon, the American author of a new book with the cute title Good Manners for Nice People who Sometimes Say F*ck, says it is inevitable in a busy urban environment.

"We can behave badly when we are around strangers, and we're around strangers almost all the time," "This allows people to do stuff they would never do to a neighbour. The guy that's flipping you the bird in traffic is counting on the fact that he's never going to see you again."

Rude people in cities somehow persuade themselves that all those other people around them simply don't exist – or, at least, don't merit bothering about.

These rude people are self-declared islands in the urban sea, pursuing their self-interest and supremely indifferent to the effects on the rest of us.The road hog cyclist was like that, but there are many others like him.........Most people follow the simple rules of urban etiquette that keep the modern metropolis functioning, even when there is no one around to enforce them.

Most dog owners pick up after their pets with plastic bags, a relatively new practice, simply because it is expected. Most city dwellers who aren't the mayor still experience shame......Amy Alkon is off base. Most of us don't feel we can behave badly around strangers. When that guy rammed me with his bike, everyone getting off the streetcar and passing by on the street knew he was in the wrong. Even as he bombed off through the intersection, I'm sure he felt it. It is that collective judgment that we fear and, by and large, respect.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  civics  courtesies  etiquette  civility  humility  public_decorum  anonymity 
june 2014 by jerryking
Incognito
October 2003 | Report on Business Magazine | by Doug Steiner.

"...He always seemed a step ahead, and he did it by working harder, thinking harder and trading harder—and in ways that the competition couldn't quite grasp."

Steiner's 10 rules for making serious money:

1. Economists say investing is a zero-sum game It isn't. Money moves to smart hands quickly, and lazy investors pay a price. Tiger Woods became the been golfer by practising a lot. How many prospectuses have you read in bed after the news?
2. Really good investors rarely crow. If there is $5 to be made from a trade, there will be loss than $2.50 after you've blabbed about how smart you are. There are traders who quietly take home $10 million a year. They live beside you in a modest house and drive a beat-up Nissan.
3. The best follow rules and they‘re patient. They may not invest for months. One great trader I know wanted to buy a house in a fancy neighbourhood. He spent more than a week in the registry office on his vacation, searching the title on each property in the neighbourhood to find what buyers paid and how much of that was mortgaged, going back 20 wars. He got a good deal. He does the same amount of homework investing.
4. Sharp traders never add to losing positions. Too many headaches.
5. Smart investors. when puzzled about when to sell. wonder if they should buy more. If they don’t think they should buy more,they sell.
6. The most information wins. If you like a company, phone some people who work there. Apply for a job. Try their products. Phone the shipping dock to find out if they're busy.
7. Get a Bloomberg terminal. Bloombergs have more information in them than you can use, but smart people use a lot of it.
8. Following really smart traders around the market is hard. Most have more money to invest in a position than the arbitrage or opportunity can handle. They leave few tracks.
9. Great investors an: like great athletes—they see opportunities that others don’t. Often you don't realize that what they've made the most money on is even fungible.
10. If you can't do it yourself, find someone who likes the foldouts in annual reports more than anything. Their management fees are usually worth it. And they usually don't have slick marketing brochures.
absorptive_capacity  arbitrage  Bay_Street  Bloomberg  dedication  Doug_Steiner  hard_work  hedge_funds  humility  idea_generation  investment_advice  investing  investors  money_management  obscurity  opportunities  overlooked_opportunities  patience  perception  primary_field_research  prospectuses  rules_of_the_game  self-discipline  sleuthing  slight_edge  smart_people  traders  training  unfair_advantages  zero-sum_games 
december 2013 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
What is good for a business isn’t necessarily good for the country
Aug. 27 2013 | The Globe and Mail |CHRISTOPHER RAGAN
...Most non-economists probably think economics and business are the same. But anyone who has studied economics knows they are very different. Having done so for about 30 years, I am very comfortable thinking about how markets work, how they often fail to function effectively and how various government policies affect their operation. But I readily admit to having no expertise about product development, marketing campaigns, distribution networks or managing employees.

I only wish more business people admitted to having the opposite ignorance. People successful in their businesses obviously know a lot about running their own companies and dealing with their unique competitive challenges. But many of them believe their business acumen extends to the broader economy. They suffer from the misconception that what is good for their business is good for the country as a whole. And this is where they are terribly wrong.... Adam Smith was crystal clear about business interests, writing in 1776 that “people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”...Fortunately for us, [James Moore] understands the difference between business interests and the national interest.
Adam_Smith  business_acumen  business_interests  businessman_fallacy  delusions  economics  humility  misconceptions  marketing  national_interests  policymaking  pro-business  product_development  rent-seeking  self-interest 
november 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  platitudes  critical_thinking  skepticism  contrarians  speeches  artists  academia  sponsorships  humility  hubris  businessman_fallacy 
march 2013 by jerryking
Big Data should inspire humility, not hype
Mar. 04 2013| The Globe and Mail |Konrad Yakabuski.

" mathematical models have their limits.

The Great Recession should have made that clear. The forecasters and risk managers who relied on supposedly foolproof algorithms all failed to see the crash coming. The historical economic data they fed into their computers did not go back far enough. Their models were not built to account for rare events. Yet, policy makers bought their rosy forecasts hook, line and sinker.

You might think that Nate Silver, the whiz-kid statistician who correctly predicted the winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election in all 50 states, would be Big Data’s biggest apologist. Instead, he warns against putting our faith in the predictive power of machines.

“Our predictions may be more prone to failure in the era of Big Data,” The New York Times blogger writes in his recent book, The Signal and the Noise. “As there is an exponential increase in the amount of available information, there is likewise an exponential increase in the number of hypotheses to investigate … [But] most of the data is just noise, as most of the universe is filled with empty space.”

Perhaps the biggest risk we run in the era of Big Data is confusing correlation with causation – or rather, being duped by so-called “data scientists” who tell us one thing leads to another. The old admonition about “lies, damn lies and statistics” is more appropriate than ever."
massive_data_sets  data_driven  McKinsey  skepticism  contrarians  data_scientists  Konrad_Yakabuski  modelling  Nate_Silver  humility  risks  books  correlations  causality  algorithms  infoliteracy  noise  signals  hype 
march 2013 by jerryking
Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen Fund, on Pairs of Values - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: September 29, 2012

Q. Tell me about your approach to leadership.

A. I think we so often equate leadership with being experts — the leader is supposed to come in and fix things. But in this interconnected world we live in now, it’s almost impossible for just one person to do that.

So if we could only have more leaders who would start by just listening, just trying to understand what’s going wrong from the perspective of the people you’re supposed to serve — whether it’s your customers or people for whom you want the world to change.

Leaders can get stuck in groupthink because they’re really not listening, or they’re listening only to what they want to listen to, or they actually think they’re so right that they’re not interested in listening. And that leads to a lot of suboptimal solutions in the world.

The kind of leaders we need — and certainly that I aspire to be — reject ideology, reject trite assumptions, reject the status quo, and are really open to listening to solutions from people who are most impacted by the problems. ...We think about our values in pairs, and there is a tension or a balance between them. We talk about listening and leadership; accountability and generosity; humility and audacity. You’ve got to have the humility to see the world as it is — and in our world, working with poor communities, that’s not easy to do — but have the audacity to know why you are trying to make it be different, to imagine the way it could be. And then the immutable values are respect and integrity.
leadership  Acumen  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  values  social_capital  venture_capital  vc  accountability  generosity  humility  audacity  groupthink  listening  respect  integrity  pairs  tradeoffs  tension  dual-consciousness 
october 2012 by jerryking
Why Should We Care?
January 10, 2008 | WSJ.com | By PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO.

We all know art and art museums are important. But when it comes to articulating our reasons for this belief, we find it very difficult. We'd love to simply say, like our children, "Just because." When we try to be more specific, we end up with something rather abstract, such as: They are the repositories of precious objects and relics, the places where they are preserved, studied and displayed, which means that museums can be defined quite literally and succinctly, as the memory of mankind...The fact is, in the rooms of our museums are preserved things that are far more than just pretty pictures. These works of art, embodying and expressing with graphic force the deepest aspirations of a time and place, are direct, primary evidence for the study and understanding of mankind.... if we find our identity through works of art, then we have to identify them correctly, and works of art are not easy to decipher. They don't come with installation kits, lists of ingredients, and certificates of origin. In order to determine the time and place of their genesis, we have to ask of them: Who made them, where, when and why?

The answers to these questions are anything but obvious, because very few artistic traditions are pure -- that is, uninflected by outside influences. So, confronted with a work of art, we must be sure of its origin....The art museum then plays a key and beneficial role in teaching us humility, in making us recognize that other, very different yet totally valid civilizations have existed and do exist right alongside our own..in attempting to answer the question "why should we care?" I'd like to suggest a final, more broadly significant lesson. It is mankind's awe-inspiring ability, time and again, to surpass itself. What this means is that no matter how bleak the times we may live in, we cannot wholly despair of the human condition.
museums  art  value_propositions  provenance  artifacts  sublime  sense_of_proportion  galleries  art_galleries  humility  inspiration  interpretation  sense-making  Philippe_de_Montebello  the_human_condition 
august 2012 by jerryking
History Doesn't Follow the Rules
200X | TIME | Jeff Greenfield
The world can change in a day, all right, but not always the way we think it will. LOOKING FOR A LESSON IN HUMILITY? STAND AT A MAJOR historical marker, and try drawing a perfectly reasonable, prudent conclusion about where that marker is pointing.

...revised views of history are what keep successive generations of historians in business, continuously updating where the latest dominoes have fallen. Eighty years from now, scholars will still be debating the meaning of what happened 80—or even 800—years ago. We journalists like to say that journalism is the first rough draft of history—a mere acknowledgment, perhaps that there is a Higher Authority in whose hands rests the final draft.
history  unpredictability  humility  seminal_moments  historians  worthiness  journalists  journalism 
august 2012 by jerryking
Investing Ideas That Stand Test of Time
April 25, 2000 | WSJ | Jonathan Clements

These days I find I am left with just three core investment ideas:
(1) Financial Success is a Sense of Control
If you ask folks about their financial goals, they will likely offer a laundry list of goods they want to buy or announce they want to accumulate as much money as possible. But in reality,
both goals are a prescription for unhappiness.
Sure it might be nice to purchase everything that catches your fancy. But nobody has unlimited wealth, so a focus on endless consumption inevitably results not in happiness, but in frustration and financial stress. Yeah, it would also be great to have heaps of money. But if all you want is an even bigger pile of cash, you will never be satisfied, because you will never reach your goal. So what should you
shoot for? A far more worthy goal, I believe, is eliminating the anxiety that comes with managing money. You want to reach that sweet spot where you feel your finances are under control, no matter what your standard of living and level of wealth.

(2)Investing is Simple
No doubts about it, there are lots of investments and investment strategies that are mighty complicated. But complexity usually means investors are running the risk of rotten results and Wall Street is getting the chance to charge fat fees. Investing is best when it is simple. In fact, if you want to accumulate a healthy nest egg, there
isn’t much to it. First, you have to save a goodly amount, preferably at least ten percent of your pre-tax annual income. Second, you should consider investing at least half of your portfolio in stocks, even if you are approaching retirement. Third, you should diversify broadly, owning a decent mix of large, small and foreign stocks. Fourth, you should hold down investment costs, including
brokerage commissions, annual fund expenses and taxes. Finally, you should give it time. A little humility also helps. Don’t waste effort — and risk havoc — by trying to pick the next hot stock, identify the next superstar fund manager or guess the market’s next move. Instead, your best bet is to buy and hold a few well-run mutual funds.

(3) We are the enemy
If successful investing is so simple, why do so many people mess up? It isn’t the markets that are the problem, it is the investors.
We make all sorts of mistakes. We fret about the performance of each investment that we own, so we don’t enjoy the benefits of diversification. We are often overly self-confident, which
prompts us to trade too much and bet too heavily on a single stock or market sector. We
extrapolate recent results, leading to excessive exuberance when stocks are rising and unjustified
pessimism when markets decline. We lack self-control, so we don’t save enough.

[All the points made immediately above are analogous to Jason Zweig's article on personal finance & investing. From Benjamin Graham --investing is often portrayed as a battle between you and the markets. Instead, “the investor’s chief problem — and even his worst enemy — is likely to be himself.”

Similarly, Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman wrote in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. [that]evaluating yourself honestly is at least as important as evaluating your investments accurately. If you don’t force yourself to learn your limits as an investor, then it doesn’t matter how much you learn about the markets: Your emotions will be your undoing.... ]

If you are going to truly be a successful and happy investor, it isn’t enough simply to devise
strategies that allow you to meet your investment goals. Your strategies also must give you a
sense of financial control and fit with your risk tolerance, so that you stick with them through the
inevitable market turmoil.
That may mean keeping more of your money in bonds and money-market funds. It could mean
paying for an investment advisor. It might mean scaling back your financial goals and accepting
that the kids won’t be heading to Harvard and that you won’t be able to retire early.
These sorts of choices aren’t foolish. What’s foolish is settling on investment strategies without
considering whether you can see them through.
personal_finance  investing  howto  ideas  goal-setting  Nobel_Prizes  money_management  Jonathan_Clements  financial_literacy  biases  humility  mistakes  self-awareness  self-control  proclivities  overconfidence  financial_planning  delusions  self-delusions  emotions  human_frailties  Jason_Zweig  extrapolations  risk-tolerance  recency  unhappiness  human_errors  bear_markets  sense_of_control  superstars  Daniel_Kahneman 
may 2012 by jerryking
Henninger: The Age of Indiscretion - WSJ.com
April 25, 2012, 6:48 p.m. ET

The Age of Indiscretion
GSA partiers in Vegas and Secret Service revelers in Cartagena make it clear that discretion is dead.

By DANIEL HENNINGER
Daniel_Henninger  scandals  discretion  humility  etiquette  public_decorum  popular_culture  personal_responsibility 
april 2012 by jerryking
The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 10, 2011

The Real Legacy of Nelson Mandela
The antiapartheid hero refused to launch a personality cult. Why have other African leaders failed to follow suit?....The postcolonial history of Africa has shown that liberation parties harvest a potent crop of "struggle" legitimacy that generally neutralizes opposition for a generation or so. During that time, the countervailing institutions of the new state tend to wither in their infancy, constitutions are swept aside and the civil service is politicized as lines blur between government and party.
Nelson_Mandela  South_Africa  humility  heroes  inspiration  personality_cults  African  sub-Saharan_Africa  legacies  authoritarianism  loyal_opposition  institutions  institution-building  civil_service  postcolonial 
december 2011 by jerryking
Inside McKinsey - FT.com
November 25, 2011 9:32 pm
Inside McKinsey

By Andrew Hill
McKinsey  management_consulting  humility  values 
november 2011 by jerryking
Rumsfeld: Know the Unknowns - WSJ.com
APRIL 4, 2011| WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Before 9/11,
Rumsfeld distributed to colleagues a comment about Pearl Harbor by
economist Thomas Schelling: "There is a tendency in our planning to
confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Rumsfeld focuses on
unknown unknowns in order to encourage more "intellectual humility" ."It
is difficult to accept—to know—that there may be important unknowns."
"In the run-up to the war in Iraq, we heard a great deal about what our
intel community knew or thought they knew," he writes, "but not enough
about what they knew they didn't know." Policy makers can't afford to
be paralyzed by a lack of info., inaction by the world's superpower has
its own risks. Instead, Rumsfeld says the known known of info. gaps
should force a more robust give-and-take between policy makers &
intelligence analysts, allowing analysts to understand what policymakers
need to know & policymakers to understand what info. they can and
cannot get from intelligence.
Donald_Rumsfeld  superpowers  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  memoirs  decision_making  security_&_intelligence  information_gaps  humility  uncertainty  cost_of_inaction  unknowns  Thomas_Schelling  improbables  quotes  unfamiliarity  SecDef  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
april 2011 by jerryking
"The Best Advice I Ever Got" - March 21, 2005
March 21, 2005 | Fortune Magazine | By INTERVIEWERS Julia Boorstin.

Brian Grazer
"My whole career has been built on one piece of advice that came from two people: [MCA founder] Jules Stein and [former MCA chairman] Lew Wasserman. In 1975 I was a law clerk at Warner Bros. I'd spent about a year trying to get a meeting with these two men. Finally they let me in to see them. They both said, separately, 'In order for you to be in the entertainment business, you have to have leverage. Since you have none--no money, no pedigree, no valuable relationships--you must have creative leverage. That exists only in your mind. So you need to write--put what's in your mind on paper. Then you'll own a piece of paper. That's leverage.'

"With that advice, I wrote the story that became Splash, which was a fantasy that I had about meeting a mermaid. For years, I sent registered letters to myself--movie concepts and other ideas--so that I had my ideas officially on paper. I have about 1,000 letters in a vault. To this day, I feel that my real power is only that--ideas and the confidence to write them down."
advice  career  inspiration  entrepreneur  Managing_Your_Career  Clayton_Christensen  humility  MBAs  Siemens  Salesforce  Mickey_Drexler  JetBlue  Peter_Drucker  Jim_Collins  Rick_Warren  leverage  Xerox  Andy_Grove  conventional_wisdom  Richard_Parsons  negotiations  Jack_Welch  Vivek_Paul  thinking  Starbucks  Warren_Bennis  Richard_Branson  Warren_Buffett  Brian_Grazer  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
december 2010 by jerryking
Managing the Future Workplace? Start Here. - WSJ.com
SEPT. 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By ALAN MURRAY. How
should managers behave in this new economic order? Key trends include:
trust in business being at an all time low; continued govt. involvement
in the economy; credit remaining hard to come by; U.S. consumers
sitting on their wallets; Asia will likely continue to rise, and
technological change will likely continue to accelerate. Stay flexible.
Devour data. Be (somewhat) humble. Communicate. Plan for contingencies.
Be proactive. Insist on candor. Stay involved. Keep your organization
flat. Cross-train your talent.Assess your team.Use your judgment.
managing_uncertainty  workplaces  Alan_Murray  technological_change  future  organizational_culture  flexibility  resilience  contingency_planning  cross-training  data  data_driven  proactivity  humility  candour  Asia  credit  consumer_spending  judgment  teams  accelerated_lifecycles  trends  trustworthiness 
september 2010 by jerryking
The Medium Is the Medium - NYTimes.com
July 8, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. "There was 1interesting
observation made by a philanthropist who gives books to disadvantaged
kids. It’s not the physical presence of the books that produces the
biggest impact, she suggested. It’s the change in how the students see
themselves as they build a home library. They see themselves as readers,
as members of a different group...". The great essayist Joseph Epstein
distinguished between being well informed, being hip and being
cultivated. The Web helps you become well informed — knowledgeable about
current events, controversies and trends. The Web also helps you become
hip — to learn about what’s going on, “in those lively waters outside
the mainstream.” But the literary world is better at helping you become
cultivated, mastering significant things of lasting import. To learn
these sorts of things, you have to defer to greater minds than your own,
take time to immerse in a great writer’s world, to respect the
authority of the teacher.
David_Brooks  reading  books  Nicholas_Carr  arduous  hard_work  personal_libraries  humility  well_informed  respect  cultivated 
july 2010 by jerryking
Patrick Lencioni: The Most Important Leadership Trait You Shun - WSJ.com
JUNE 22, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By PATRICK LENCIONI.
Writes about vulnerability, the ability to be genuinely honest about
one's weaknesses, mistakes and needs for help. Whether we're talking
about leadership, teamwork or client service, nothing inspires trust in
another human being as much as vulnerability . There is just something
immensely attractive and inspiring about humility and graciousness.
leadership  Patrick_Lencioni  personal_growth  life_skills  humility  weaknesses  authenticity  trustworthiness  grace  vulnerabilities 
june 2010 by jerryking
Messy Times for Ben Bernanke and the Fed - NYTimes.com
May 14, 2010 | New York Times | By SEWELL CHAN. "we had neither
the mandate nor the tools to be the financial system’s supercop. "
Notes: (1) read “The Great Contraction, 1929-1933,” in which Milton
Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz blamed the Fed’s failure to expand
the money supply for the Depression’s severity and duration. (2)
“Because I appreciate the role of chance and contingency in human
events, I try to be appropriately realistic about my own capabilities. I
know there is much that I don’t know.”

— Ben S. Bernanke, May 22, 2009
(3) “Keep a ‘gratitude journal,’ in which you routinely list
experiences and circumstances for which you are grateful.”

— Ben S. Bernanke, May 8, 2010
economists  Benjamin_Bernanke  U.S._Federal_Reserve  gratitude  messiness  pretense_of_knowledge  Great_Depression  Milton_Friedman  humility  unknowns  chance  luck  contingency  books  economics  economic_history  financial_system  frequency_and_severity 
may 2010 by jerryking
Surviving the Age of Humiliation - WSJ.com
MAY 5, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JEFFREY ZASLOW.

THE BEST DEFENSE

* Expect the worst. If you run a business, assume disgruntled employees will make accusations about you. If you're a teacher, expect to be badmouthed by angry students on RateMyProfessors.com. If you've endured a hostile divorce, keep your guard up, and be ready to mop up spilled secrets.
* Get up to speed. You may be written about on blogs, Twitter and other social-networking sites. Learn exactly how new media sites work, who uses them and how you can be adept at it, too
* Reframe the discussion. Actor Alec Baldwin wrote that he felt great shame, and even thought of suicide, after an angry voicemail message he left for his 11-year-old daughter went viral. He eventually channeled his feelings into a book about fathers' rights and divorce, which allowed him to explain his outburst and weigh in on the debate over custody issues
* Have thick skin. Ignore efforts to hurt you on obscure blogs or websites, as these often dissipate on their own. As for cyber-bullying of children, parents tend to overreact—calling other parents over minor incidents, making things even harder for their kids at school—or under-react, not responding to serious incidents. It's best to tell kids: "Together we'll find the right way to deal with this—to help you and not make things worse.
* Fight back. Thomas Jefferson believed that the best way to combat critical speech was to speak out yourself. Start your own blog or post your own comments. If it's vital that you defend yourself, do so forcefully, without fear and with self-confidence.
personal_branding  reputation  etiquette  civility  public_decorum  popular_culture  Jeffrey_Zaslow  humility  reframing  humiliation  problem_framing  serious_incidents  Thomas_Jefferson  worst-case  thinking_tragically 
may 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Humble Hound - NYTimes.com
April 8, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. Research suggests that
extremely self-confident leaders--the boardroom lion model of
leadership--can also be risky. Charismatic C.E.O.’s often produce
volatile company performances--swinging for the home run and sometimes
end up striking out. They make more daring acquisitions, shift into new
fields and abruptly change strategies. Jim Collins, author of “Good to
Great” and “How the Mighty Fall,” celebrates a different sort of leader.
Reliably successful leaders who combine “extreme personal humility with
intense professional will”--a humble hound model of leadership.
Characteristics: focuses on metacognition — thinking about thinking —
and building external scaffolding devices to compensate for weaknesses;
spends more time seeing than analyzing; construct thinking teams; avoids
the seduction (the belief) that one magic move will change everything;
the faith in perpetual restructuring; the tendency to replace questions
with statements at meetings.
David_Brooks  Peter_Drucker  leadership  single_action_bias  CEOs  self-confidence  leaders  charisma  thinking  humility  Jim_Collins  cognitive_skills  self-awareness  metacognition  proclivities  weaknesses  wishful_thinking  willpower 
april 2010 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs Rakes In Profit in Credit Crisis - NYTimes.com
November 19, 2007 | New York Times | By JENNY ANDERSON and
LANDON THOMAS Jr.
At that point, the holdings of Goldman’s mortgage desk were down
somewhat, but the notoriously nervous Mr. Viniar was worried about
bigger problems. After reviewing the full portfolio with other
executives, his message was clear: the bank should reduce its stockpile
of mortgages and mortgage-related securities and buy expensive insurance
as protection against further losses, a person briefed on the meeting
said.
Rarely on Wall Street, where money travels in herds, has one firm gotten
it so right when nearly everyone else was getting it so wrong.
With its mix of swagger and contrary thinking, it was just the kind of
bet that has long defined Goldman’s hard-nosed, go-it-alone style.
Goldman’s secret sauce, say executives, analysts and historians, is
high-octane business acumen, tempered with paranoia and institutionally
encouraged — though not always observed — humility.
====================================

Strategic nous - "practical intelligence/good judgement/shrewdness" = "high-octane business acumen"
business_acumen  contrarians  crisis  economic_downturn  Goldman_Sachs  hard_times  herd_behaviour  herd_instincts  humility  Lloyd_Blankfein  paranoia  profits  proprietary  recessions  special_sauce  stockpiles  Wall_Street 
february 2010 by jerryking
Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog: Roger Martin on Assertive Inquiry
12.07.07 | LeadershipNow | Posted by Michael McKinney at
08:38 AM. “When we interact with other people on the basis of a
particular mental model, we usually try to defend that model against any
challenges. Our energy goes into explaining our model to others and
defending it from criticism.

“The antidote to advocacy is inquiry, which produces meaningful
dialogue. When you use assertive inquiry to investigate someone else’s
metal model, you find saliencies that wouldn’t have occurred to you and
causal relationships you didn’t perceive. You may not want to adopt the
mental model as your own, but even the least compelling model can
provide clues to saliencies or causal relationships that will generate a
creative solution.”

Ask:

* “Could you please help me understand how you came to believe
that?”
* “Could you clarify that point for me with an illustration or
example?”
* “How does what you are saying overlap, if at all, with what I
suggested?”
Roger_Martin  Rotman  questions  critical_thinking  saliencies  mental_models  ego  humility 
january 2010 by jerryking
"The Hidden River of Knowledge"
May 21, 2007 | New York Times | Commencement address by David Brooks.

In short, things are about to change big time. And one of my messages today is that you know that uncertainty you feel today? It never goes away. The question is, do you know how to make uncertainty your friend?....here's one other thing I've noticed that separates the really great people from the merely famous ones. They talk to dead people.

Merely famous people have pictures of themselves on the wall. Really great people have pictures of dead people on the wall, and on their desks. It's one of the first things I look for when I go into somebody's office...And they talk about these dead people....
The dead were alive to them, and looking over their shoulder....The Greeks used to say we suffer our way to wisdom...Success is not something that we do or that happens to us. Success is something that happens through us....We inherit, starting even before we are born, a great river of knowledge, a great flow from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from millions of years ago, we call brain chemistry. The information that comes from hundreds of thousands of years ago from our hunter and gatherer ancestors we call genes. The information that was handed down thousands of years ago we call religion. The information passed along hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family. The information you absorbed over the past few years at Wake Forest we call education....We exist as creatures within this hidden river of knowledge the way a trout exists in a stream or a river. We are formed by the river. It is the medium in which we live and the guide about how to live.

The great people I've seen talking to the dead do so because they want to connect with the highest and most inspiring parts of the river. When people make mistakes, often it is not because they are evil. It's because they don't have an ideal to live up to.

These great people also talk to the dead because they want a voice from outside their selves....the best people I've met don't feel that smart or that special. They have powerful jobs, but they don't feel powerful. They don't feel like architects building these great projects from scratch. They feel instead like river boat captains negotiating the currents around them.

They want to step outside their egotism and understand the river of events. They want to feel how people in the past have negotiated its channels. They want other voices in their heads so they can possess the ultimate power, which is the power of facing unpleasant truths.

Finally, I think they talk to the dead because they want to widen their time horizons....Think hard about who you marry. It's the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I'd add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They'll serve as models. They'll give you an honest perspective on how you're doing. They'll remind you that your blessings don't come from you but from those who came before you.
advice  affirmations  ancestry  blog  brain_chemistry  career  cognitive_skills  commencement  culture  cultural_transmission  David_Brooks  education  family  genes  Greek  hidden  happiness  heroes  humility  hunter-gatherers  ideas  inspiration  Managing_Your_Career  marriage  perspectives  role_models  sense_of_proportion  speeches  success  suffering  the_counsel_of_the_dead  time_horizons  transcendental  uncertainty  Wake_Forest  wide-framing  wisdom 
november 2009 by jerryking

related tags

'60s  3G_Capital  absorptive_capacity  academia  accelerated_lifecycles  accountability  Acumen  Adam_Smith  adaptability  advice  affirmations  African  Afro-Guyanese  Alan_Murray  algorithms  alumni  ambiguities  amnesia_bias  Amos_Tversky  analysis_paralysis  ancestry  Andy_Grove  anniversaries  anonymity  anticipating  appeasement  appointments  arbitrage  arduous  arrogance  art  artifacts  artists  art_galleries  Asia  asking_the_right_questions  asset_classes  audacity  authenticity  authoritarianism  autonomy  Bahamas  base_rates  Bay_Street  bear_markets  beforemath  behavioural_economics  Benjamin_Bernanke  Benjamin_Franklin  best_of  beyondtheU.S.  beyond_one's_control  biases  blog  Bloomberg  Bob_Rae  books  book_reviews  brainstorming  brain_chemistry  Bret_Stephens  Brian_Grazer  bridging  buffering  bullying  bureaucrats  Burger_King  business  businessman_fallacy  business_acumen  business_interests  Cal_Newport  Canadian  candour  career  Caribbean  Catholicism  Catholic_Church  causality  cautionary_tales  celebrities  CEOs  cerebral  chance  change  character_traits  charisma  Christianity  civics  civility  civil_service  Clayton_Christensen  cleaning  clichés  clock_speed  co-operation  cognitive_skills  commencement  Communicating_&_Connecting  companywide  complacency  concentration_risk  confidence  confirmation_bias  constructive_criticism  consumer_spending  contemplation  contingency  contingency_planning  continuous_learning  contrarians  conventional_wisdom  COO  core_businesses  correlations  cost_of_inaction  courage  Coursera  courtesies  creating_valuable_content  credit  crisis  critical_thinking  cross-training  crossborder  cruelty  cultivated  cultural_transmission  culture  curiosity  Daniel_Henninger  Daniel_Kahneman  Daniel_Schwartz  dark_side  data  data_driven  data_scientists  David_Brooks  David_Rosenberg  decision_making  dedication  delusions  detail_oriented  DFJ  discernment  disconnecting  discontinuities  discretion  disruption  diversification  Donald_Rumsfeld  Donald_Trump  Doug_Ford  Doug_Steiner  Dr.Alexander's_Question  Dropbox  dual-consciousness  dynamic  Dyson  early_risers  economics  economic_cycles  economic_downturn  economic_history  economists  education  ego  Elon_Musk  emotions  empathy  engagement  engineering  entitlements  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  ethical  etiquette  executive_management  expertise  extrapolations  failure  family  films  fin-tech  financial_literacy  financial_planning  financial_system  firmness  flexibility  focus  forecasting  foregiveness  foresight  Founding_Fathers  frequency_and_severity  future  galleries  generosity  genes  gift_ideas  Gluskin_Sheff  goal-setting  Goldman_Sachs  Google  gossip  government  grace  grandiosity  gratitude  Great_Depression  Greek  grievances  groupthink  GTD  gut_feelings  halo_effects  happiness  hard_choices  hard_times  hard_work  Harvey_Schachter  HBR  healthy_lifestyles  hedge_funds  herd_behaviour  herd_instincts  heroes  hidden  hiring  historians  history  honesty  House_of_Commons  howto  hubris  human_errors  human_frailties  humiliation  humility  hunter-gatherers  hype  ideas  idea_generation  immediacy  immigrants  imposters  improbables  incisiveness  indecision  independent_viewpoints  individual_initiative  influence  infoliteracy  information_gaps  innovation  inquisitiveness  insecurity  inspiration  instability  institution-building  institutions  integrity  intellectual_courage  intelligence_analysts  interconnections  interests  interpretation  intuition  investing  investment_advice  investors  irrationality  Jack_Welch  James_Dyson  Jason_Zweig  Jeffrey_Zaslow  JetBlue  Jim_Collins  Jonathan_Clements  journalism  journalists  judgment  Justin_Trudeau  Konrad_Yakabuski  ksfs  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  large_companies  leaders  leadership  legacies  lessons_learned  leverage  Lew_Wasserman  life_skills  linearity  listening  Lloyd_Blankfein  lobbying  loyal_opposition  luck  machine_learning  management_consulting  managing_uncertainty  Managing_Your_Career  Marcus_Gee  marketing  market_corrections  marriage  massive_data_sets  MBAs  McKinsey  memoirs  mental_models  messiness  metacognition  Michael_Lewis  Mickey_Drexler  Milton_Friedman  misconceptions  misogyny  mission-driven  mistakes  MLSE  modelling  Moneyball  money_management  Moore's_Law  motivations  movies  movingonup  museums  narcissism  NASA  Nate_Silver  national_interests  negotiations  Neil_Armstrong  Nelson_Mandela  never_forever  new_graduates  next_play  Niccolo_Machiavelli  Nicholas_Carr  Nobel_Prizes  noise  non-obvious  nonfiction  nonlinear_systems  nonverbal  nuanced  obscurity  office_housework  opportunities  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  overconfidence  overdeliver  overestimation  overlooked_opportunities  overwhelmed  pairs  paranoia  partnerships  passions  patience  Patrick_Lencioni  patriotism  Peggy_Noonan  perception  perfection  personality_cults  personality_types/traits  personal_branding  personal_energy  personal_finance  personal_growth  personal_libraries  personal_responsibility  perspectives  Peter_Drucker  petro-politics  Philippe_de_Montebello  Plan_B  platitudes  PMO  policymakers  policymaking  politeness  political_capital  political_clichés  politicians  politics  Popeyes  Pope_Francis  popular_culture  postcolonial  praise  predictions  preparation  pretense_of_knowledge  primary_field_research  pro-business  proactivity  probabilities  problem_framing  proclivities  productivity  product_development  profanity  profits  proprietary  prospectuses  provenance  psychologists  public_decorum  public_sector  public_speaking  pundits  Queen’s  questions  quotes  rainmaking  Ram_Charan  randomness  rapid_change  RBI  reading  recency  recessions  recklessness  reflections  reframing  relationships  rent-seeking  reputation  resilience  resolve  respect  Richard_Branson  Richard_Parsons  Rick_Warren  ride_sharing  rigidity  risk-assessment  risk-taking  risk-tolerance  risks  Roger_Martin  role_models  Roman_Catholic  Rotman  Rudyard_Kipling  rules_of_the_game  Russell_Smith  Salesforce  saliencies  say_"no"  scandals  SecDef  security_&_intelligence  self-analysis  self-assessment  self-awareness  self-confidence  self-control  self-delusions  self-discipline  self-doubt  self-effacing  self-importance  self-improvement  self-interest  self-promotion  self-reflective  self-regulation  self-satisfaction  self-starters  seminal_moments  sense-making  sense_of_control  sense_of_proportion  serious_incidents  serving_others  sexual_harassment  sharing_economy  short-sightedness  shot_clock  Siemens  signals  Silicon_Valley  simplicity  sincerity  single_action_bias  skepticism  skin_in_the_game  slack_time  sleuthing  slight_edge  smart_people  social_capital  Socrates  software  South_Africa  space  space_travel  span_of_control  speaking_up  special_sauce  speeches  speed  sponsorships  Starbucks  start_ups  Steve_Jurvetson  stockpiles  straight-lines  strategic_thinking  strengths  sub-Saharan_Africa  sublime  success  suffering  superpowers  superstars  talent  teams  technological_change  television  tenacity  tension  the_Cabinet  the_counsel_of_the_dead  the_human_condition  thinking  thinking_tragically  think_threes  Thomas_Jefferson  Thomas_Schelling  time-management  time_horizons  Tim_Harford  Tim_Hortons  Tom_Friedman  Toronto  tough-mindedness  toxic_behaviors  tradeoffs  traders  traffic_congestion  training  transcendental  trends  trustworthiness  truth-telling  truthiness  U.S.  U.S._Federal_Reserve  Uber  uncertainty  unconventional_thinking  unexpected  unfair_advantages  unfamiliarity  unforeseen  unhappiness  unintended_consequences  unknowns  unplanned  unpredictability  unsentimental  USMC  values  value_propositions  Vatican  vc  venture_capital  Vikram_Pandit  virtues  Vivek_Paul  volunteering  vulnerabilities  Wake_Forest  Wall_Street  Warren_Bennis  Warren_Buffett  weaknesses  well_informed  wide-framing  willpower  wisdom  wishful_thinking  women  workplaces  work_ethic  world_stage  worst-case  worthiness  writers  WWI  Xerox  Yale  zero-sum_games 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: