Michael Mauboussin is our Masters in Business interview this weekend.


What role, exactly, do skill and luck play in our successes and failures? Some games, like roulette and the lottery, are pure luck. Others, like chess, exist at the other end of the spectrum, relying almost wholly on players’ skill.

In his provocative book, Michael Mauboussin untangles the intricate strands of skill and luck, defines them, and provides useful frameworks for analyzing their relative contributions. He offers concrete suggestions for how to put these insights to work to your advantage in business and other dimensions of life.

About the author:
Michael J. Mauboussin is a Managing Director and Head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse. Prior to rejoining CS in 2013, he was Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. He is also the author of three books, including More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places, named in the The 100 Best Business Books of All Time by 800-CEO-Read. Michael has been an adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School since 1993, and received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, a leading center for mulch-disciplinary research in complex systems theory.

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Video

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2 Responses to “Mauboussin: Untangling Skill and Luck”

  1. siezmic says:

    Thanks for posting this great presentation.
    The paradox of skill versus luck is one those debates that separates the egoist from the grateful – depending on which camp you place yourself in any given outcome…”I made it happen” versus”Wow, how did that happen?”.

    I like his references to sports teams and results, the role of luck and the ever tightening delta between the best and the rest but I wonder how he would explain the record of the NZ All Blacks in Rugby over the last 100 or so years, particularly their Win/Loss record since they won the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
    Rugby, with its odd shaped ball clearly has a significant luck factor involved but somehow the ABs find a way to keep Lady Luck on their side (an outcome I personally am constantly grateful for as a fan).

    Thanks, as ever, for sharing.

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