All The World’s A Stage

And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;

– William Shakespeare, As You Like It

When it’s time to put on a show, what kind of leader do you want?

David Brooks plays the Cowboy’s song:

In the journal In Character, the Washington Post theater critic Peter J. Marks has an essay on the ethos of the stagehands who work behind the scenes. Being out when the applause is ringing doesn’t feel important to them. The important things are the communal work, the contribution to the whole production and the esprit de corps. The humble hound is a stagehand who happens to give more public presentations than most.


Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 17:21  Leave a Comment  
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Intuitive Plausibility

Numbers are dangerous.

Numbers are our friends.



Published in: on March 21, 2009 at 14:27  Comments Off on Intuitive Plausibility  

M&A Is Dead. Long Live M&A.

The rumors of its demise are grossly exaggerated it would seem.

Merck on Monday announced an agreed $41bn takeover of its New Jersey rival, Schering-Plough..”  (via FT)

“Roche Holding AG has sweetened its offer for Genentech Inc by about 2 percent to $46.7 billion..” (via Reuters)

And a little over a month ago:

Pfizer on Monday unveiled a $68bn takeover of Wyeth, reasserting its flagging position as the world’s largest pharmaceuticals group and paving the way for a fresh bout of consolidation across the sector.” (via FT)


Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 15:42  Comments Off on M&A Is Dead. Long Live M&A.  

Cuts Like a Knife

Thought for the day

Stereotypes are like knives.  They are immensely useful in our everyday lives.  In fact, it is hard to imagine life without them.  One must wield them carefully, however, for they can cause great pain, damage lives and incite war.

Stereotypes, or “categorical thinking”, allow us to sift through large amounts of data quickly.  From an evolutionary standpoint, stereotyping allowed our ancestors to determine friend from foe, and quickly.


Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 18:32  Comments Off on Cuts Like a Knife  

Looking for a job?

A new position in the administration has become vacant. The Cowboy is sending in his resume, but I’m wondering whether size matters.

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 16:37  Comments Off on Looking for a job?  

Failure? What failure?

An article in today’s FT by David Storey, the Associate Dean of the Warwick Business School in the UK, looked at failure among entrepreneurs and likens success to a winning lottery ticket. The more tickets you buy, the more likely your success. According to Storey, the empirical evidence that entrepreneurs learn from their failures is slim. Serial entrepreneurs benefit mostly from a sense of optimism, not by learning from their mistakes. Governments do not need to make it easier to fail (by adjusting bankruptcy laws for example) in order to foster greater entrepreneurial success. Rather, they should focus on making it easier to buy a lottery ticket, i.e. lower the barriers to business formation. The importance of optimism is also a reason that young entrepreneurs are liked by venture capitalists. Still, it seems clear that experience is undervalued at the moment, meaning that the Cowboy will put a BUY recommendation on optimistic, but seasoned managers.

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 16:32  Comments Off on Failure? What failure?