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Success, Failure & Measurement

12 Jun
  • I’ve been observing leaders and organizations for a long time now, and this is what I’ve found: leaders basically fall into one of two groups.
    In the first group are those leaders who swear by metrics and swear about their unreliable, childish workers who need to be controlled.
    The second group consists of leaders who hire mature, responsible adults and treat them as such. These leaders don’t really think much of metrics. They’re more interested in buy-in and results.
    Which kind of a leader are you?

    tags: performance measurement metrics organization business leadership wp

  • My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck — especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don’t want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either…
    And you have to ask: if a professional athlete paid millions of dollars can be misvalued who can’t be? If the supposedly pure meritocracy of professional sports can’t distinguish between lucky and good, who can?
    The “Moneyball” story has practical implications. If you use better data, you can find better values; there are always market inefficiencies to exploit, and so on. But it has a broader and less practical message: don’t be deceived by life’s outcomes. Life’s outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them. Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.

    tags: princeton commencement speech michaellewis luck success life wp

  • Atul Gawande: Failure and Rescue : The New YorkerThis may in fact be the real story of human and societal improvement. We talk a lot about “risk management”—a nice hygienic phrase. But in the end, risk is necessary. Things can and will go wrong. Yet some have a better capacity to prepare for the possibility, to limit the damage, and to sometimes even retrieve success from failure.
    When things go wrong, there seem to be three main pitfalls to avoid, three ways to fail to rescue. You could choose a wrong plan, an inadequate plan, or no plan at all. Say you’re cooking and you inadvertently set a grease pan on fire. Throwing gasoline on the fire would be a completely wrong plan. Trying to blow the fire out would be inadequate. And ignoring it—“Fire? What fire?”—would be no plan at all…
    We have this problem called confidence. To take a risk, you must have confidence in yourself. In surgery, you learn early how essential that is. You are imperfect. Your knowledge is never complete. The science is never certain. Your skills are never infallible. Yet you must act. You cannot let yourself become paralyzed by fear.
    Yet you cannot blind yourself to failure, either. Indeed, you must prepare for it. For, strangely enough, only then is success possible…
    As you embark on your path from here, you are going to take chances—on a relationship, a job, a new line of study. You will have great hopes. But things won’t always go right…
    So you will take risks, and you will have failures. But it’s what happens afterward that is defining. A failure often does not have to be a failure at all. However, you have to be ready for it—will you admit when things go wrong? Will you take steps to set them right?—because the difference between triumph and defeat, you’ll find, isn’t about willingness to take risks. It’s about mastery of rescue.

    tags: failure success risk life Attitude atul_gawande wp

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Links

 

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