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ISBN 9781422184233 Published Nov. 2012
Harvard Business School Press
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Posted Nov. 14, 2012 8:48 a.m. by dylan
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
In thinking of what to do for the 100th issue of ChangeThis, a lot of ideas were conjured up. But, in the end, we decided the most important thing we could do is to keep on doing the work we've been doing since Seth Godin turned the site over to us in the summer of 2005—act as a vehicle for moving ideas in service of authors and our audience.
We did do a few special things with the issue, though. We invited Seth back to lead the issue with some insights from his forthcoming book, The Icarus Deception. We have a manifesto from our General Manager here at 800-CEO-READ, Jon Mueller, related to his ongoing, multidisciplinary project Death Blues. And we also have a manifesto from Michael J. Mauboussin, the only author featured in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time—written by our founder Jack Covert and former president Todd Sattersten, but a labor of love for the whole 800-CEO-READ family—with a new book out this month. The book, The Success Equation, is great, and we think you'll love the manifesto. Rounding out the issue are Scott Schwerlty, Bryan Mattimore, and Nikos Acuña—all original thinkers with great perspectives on business and life.
We hope you enjoy the issue. Until next month...
We Are All Artists Now by Seth Godin
“We know how much you care, and it’s a shame that the system works overtime to push you away from the people and the projects you care about. The world does not owe you a living, but just when you needed it, it has opened the door for you to make a difference.”
by Jon Mueller
“What happens when we thoroughly hold and understand that our lives are finite? How does this understanding of our end shape our present? And how do we become more ‘present?’”
by Michael J. Mauboussin
“Greater skill doesn’t decrease the dependence on luck, it increases it. If you have an interest in sports, business, or investing, this lesson is for you.”
The Snowflake Moment: Presenting the Future Today by Scott Schwertly
“[T]he snowflake moment is just one of a countless million moments, an isolated still shot of an existence that is predominantly defined by its very motion. We are what we do every day. Nothing more.”
How to be an Idea Guru: U.S. Department of Innovation, April 1, 2018 by Bryan W. Mattimore
“Please Note: The following is a transcript of the introductory workshop for the Department of Innovation’s, How to be an Idea Guru program, held from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on April 1, 2018 at the Department of Innovation’s Training Center in Washington, DC.”
The Creative Instinct: How Big Ideas Happen by Nikos Acuña
“Everything that has ever been meaningful in this world was born from someone’s imagination. Everything in this world, including us, started out as an idea, a shadow of possibility.”
Jack Covert Selects - The Success Equation
Posted Nov. 9, 2012 3:53 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
Probability and percentages have been a hot topic this campaign season, as pollsters and poll watchers placed their bets on the numbers coming in and pundits argued that the numbers alone do not—cannot—reveal all. As polls trackers worked to hone their skill and perfect their formulas, pundits relied on their extensive experience in the field and gut feeling. So who was right, and why? Did it demonstrate a particular skill, or were they simply lucky?
How much of your accomplishments can you attribute to skill and how much to luck? And why does that matter? Michael Mauboussin believes that when we understand which factor dominated—skill or luck—it leads to better decision-making and improved performance.
The purpose of this book is to show you how you can understand the relative contributions of skill and luck and how to use that understanding in interpreting past results as well as making better decisions in the future. Ultimately, untangling skill and luck helps with the challenging task of prediction, and better predictions lead to greater success.
Many sports anecdotes populate the book, as the subtitle would sugest, but Mauboussin consistently relates those anecdotes and the statistics backing them to business, investing, and even nation-building. What is particularly eye-opening is how our own desire for a rational narrative colors our judgment of whether the eventual outcome derived from skill or luck.
We re-create events in the world by creating a narrative that is based on our own beliefs and goals. As a consequence, we often struggle to understand cause and effect, and especially the relative contributions of skill and luck in shaping the events we observe. … [W]e may make the mistake of drawing conclusions from samples that are too small. We may fail to consider all of the causes that might lead to particular events. We might test too much—so much, in fact, that we wind up finding causes where we're simply seeing the results of chance.
In Chapter 11, “The Art of Good Guesswork,” Mauboussin presents ten suggestions for applying what we’ve learned about luck and skill in the book to the real world, avoiding the pitfall of similar books that remain too theoretical. And at the end of the book, Mauboussin opens the curtain and reveals the rigorous attention to detail and extensive research behind the scenes he portrays—twenty pages of notes and fifteen pages of bibliography—that really grounds The Success Equation.
Don’t be discouraged however, because the book’s tone is engaging and its anecdotes relatable. If you liked Michael Lewis's Moneyball, with it’s mix of data and great storytelling, you’ll very much enjoy Michael Mauboussin’s Success Equation.