Archive | Behavior

Spelling Bee 2017

On Thursday June 1, while many Californians – including me – were watching the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals, Ananya Vinay, a 12-year old from Fresno California, correctly spelled ‘marocain’ to win the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee. I might have guessed the correct spelling for…

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How to Avoid the Conjunction Fallacy

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and stumbled upon one of my favorite University textbooks: Tversky and Kahneman’s “Judgement Under Uncertainty”. This book taught me the basics of probability, a ridiculously useful skill which I’ve relied on far more frequently than I ever would have imagined. A better understanding of probability can help us overcome…

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How Much of Leadership Is About Theater?

For reasons not worth getting into, this past week I was reminded of a decade-old HBS discussion entitled “How Much of Leadership Is About Control, Delegation, or Theater?” The original discussion was prompted by a claim from Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer that leaders only explain 10% of a company’s performance. Instead, a company’s current performance…

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Can you trust your own memory?

Research shows we can’t trust our own memories. Many of us probably think that our individual experiences (sights, sounds, and feelings) are saved intact in our brains. A loose analogy might be a video camera recording everything it sees to a flash drive. When the time comes to remember something, we just play it back…

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