Author Archive | Dan Erwin

How to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

One of the most damaging cognitive biases, especially for the successful, is the illusion of control. It’s the tendency for people to overestimate their ability to control events. It occurs when someone feels a sense of control over outcomes that they demonstrably do not influence. The illusion of control is a confusion between skill and […]

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Deciding Whether to Buy a Book. . . .

Or, why I bought Yascha Mounk’s The People vs Democracy. If you have only so much time to read and you’re watching your pennies, how do you decide whether to buy a new book outside your area of expertise? One way to go at that is to check out who’s reviewing the book. You may […]

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Do Your Conversational Skills Need Upgrading?

More and more research is revealing that conversational skills can put you ahead of the game. Sure you need cognitive ability and emotional insight, but it’s the ability to converse well that’s tied to career success and even to innovative competence. For example, one study investigated implicit communication strategies on complex team tasks. The researchers […]

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What the Kids Are Finding Out About Guns

As a result, partially because of years of horrible shootings in our country, much research has been completed on who governs. Who actually governs? Although there are hundreds of studies on this subject, the latest work is by Princeton and Northwestern scholars, political scientists and long-term experts on the issues. They work from a huge […]

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The Lost Art of Thinking

On numerous occasions as a management consultant, I asked execs about how much time they took to think about process, innovation or strategy. Often, the response was that they didn’t have time to think. A couple said that they were paying me to do the thinking. A compliment, but very unwise. And I provided a […]

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Six Resources on Creativity

Innovation and creativity, everyone says, is key to our nation’s success in the marketplace. While working through some new stuff on creativity and innovation, I stumbled, once more, across Robert Sternberg and Todd Lubart’s analysis of the resources for creativity. It has the intriguing title, Buy Low and Sell High: An Investment Approach to Creativity. […]

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Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Are you a flip-flopper? Do you evolve, or just stay the same? “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. (Hobgoblin: the mischievous, frightening and sometimes dangerous spirits.) In career development, it’s usually the little things that derail a manager or exec. Thus, I typically focus on granular career issues. […]

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When Should You Start Your Own Business?

One of my very bright young friends in his early thirties occasionally worries that he’s let too much time go by and that he should have started his own company several years ago. It’s a very prevalent idea, but it’s pure myth. So what is the average age of the typical entrepreneur when he/she starts […]

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Leadership Failure. . . And What Can Be Done About It

In his masterful study, Leadership BS: Fixing workplaces and careers one truth at a time, Jeff Pfeffer forces his readers to deal with the actual realities of leadership. The picture is not pretty. His description is both highly analytical and comprehensive, dealing with both leadership practice and thinking. Acknowledging the truth of his description will be painful for […]

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Big Data: The IT Fumble

If you read my blog, True data about big data, in which I proposed that Zero Dark Thirty’s lead character, Maya was a near perfect example of a data scientist, you’ll understand today’s blog title. The unstated subtext of that blog was that it’s unwise to turn big data over to the IT group. Sure, you’ll […]

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