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Nate Silver on Finding a Mentor, Teaching Yourself Statistics, and Not Settling in Your Career - Walter Frick - Harvard Business Review

Stashed in: Moneyball, Best PandaWhale Posts, Learn!, Attitude, Humility, Big Data!, Listen!, Intuition, Business Advice, Einstein, HBR, Nate Silver

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Listen to intuition:

Silver: If you can’t present your ideas to at least a modestly larger audience, then it’s not going to do you very much good. Einstein supposedly said that I don’t trust any physics theory that can’t be explained to a 10-year-old. A lot of times the intuitions behind things aren’t really all that complicated. In Moneyball that on-base percentage is better than batting average looks like ‘OK, well, the goal is to score runs. The first step in scoring runs is getting on base, so let’s have a statistic that measures getting on base instead of just one type of getting on base.’ Not that hard a battle to fight.

Now, if you feel like you’re expressing yourself and getting the gist of something and you’re still not being listened to, then maybe it’s time to change careers. It is the case [that] people who have analytic talent are very much in demand right now across a lot of fields so people can afford to be picky to an extent.

Thanks Adam!  Another intriguing excerpt:

A lot of private businesses are very reluctant to deal with uncertainty in their outlook. The manager doesn’t want to seem like he’s not sure what he’s doing. And the consultant or the analyst wants to provide information to make the manager feel more confident. That’s quite problematic because a lot of problems that are on the frontier of business, on the frontier of science, [are] by definition fairly challenging ones that no one else has solved.That’s where having a more humble attitude about what you can accomplish and what you can’t is important. Just because a model is not going to be very precise or accurate doesn’t mean that therefore you should trust your gut instinct after a couple of whiskeys and assume it’s going to be very much better.

A genuinely humble attitude is one of the greatest skills in business.

Because it compels us to LISTEN and LEARN.

Yes, that's nice, Adam!  Thanks!  (In the new positive psychology, it's called the H Factor, honest/humility!)  Thanks again encouragement-- I appreciate this kind of input so much from you, Adam!

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