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The overlooked art of the great reply

TFS: In choosing advisers, avoid certainty

In his chapter on the illusion of validity, Daniel Kahneman discredits all efforts to take the uncertainty out of the future. In fact, he finds the more confident an adviser becomes, the more likely they will miss the mark. This false confidence is often based on all the research and analysis the adviser has performed. Unfortunately you cannot work your way away from variance. Tq130705ac

When times are uncertain, we look for the emotional protection of a leader who is full of certainty, but it's actually the opposite of what we should do. We should find a leader who acknowledges the unknowable. A well-prepared adviser can share his or her observations and help you find a good range of reasonable next steps for the immediate future. I've always appreciated Peter Bishop's analogy of being prepared like a good tennis player. Be healthy, be alert, and be prepared to handle the ball wherever it goes.

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