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Episode #228: Making Better Decisions with Annie Duke

March 24, 2018

Annie Duke has leveraged her expertise in the science of smart decision making to excel at pursuits as varied as championship poker to public speaking. Her first book for general audiences, “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” has just been released and has become a national bestseller in the US. In this book, Annie reveals to readers the lessons she regularly shares with her corporate audiences, which have been cultivated by combining her academic studies in cognitive psychology with real-life decision making experiences at the poker table.

 

For two decades, Annie was one of the top poker players in the world. In 2004, she bested a field of 234 players to win her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. The same year, she triumphed in the $2 million winner-take-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions. In 2010, she won the prestigious NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Prior to becoming a professional poker player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Annie has also made appearances on the Celebrity Apprentice and raised $730,000 for Refugees International.

 

She now spends her time writing, coaching and speaking on a range of topics such as decision fitness, emotional control, productive decision groups and embracing uncertainty.

 

I’m always looking to challenge my own assumptions and make better decisions so I really enjoyed this conversation with Annie.

 

Just some of the many learnings you’ll walk away with include:

 

  1. Why the quality of a decision doesn’t always relate to the quality of an outcome
  2. How to avoid decision biases and groupthink
  3. How to make good decisions when we don’t have all the facts (we almost never have all the facts)
  4. And why asking simple questions like “what’s the worst possible outcome?” can open up your life to new possibilities

 

With that, I bring you the one and only, Annie Duke.

 

Topics discussed:

  • Annie’s poker career
  • The relationship between logic and emotion
  • Working alone together
  • Seek truth, not being ‘right’
  • Why you will never have all the facts
  • Why your intuition generally doesn’t lead to better decisions
  • The power of counterfactuals
  • The concept of ‘resulting’ and how it plagues decision making
  • How to avoid ‘paralysis analysis’
  • Planning poker
  • Why you should have strong opinions, weakly held
  • The power of “I don’t know”
  • How to deal with ambiguity
  • How to hire employees who thrive under conditions of uncertainty
  • Why you can’t make your own luck
  • The story of ‘Nick the Greek’
  • The story of Pete Carroll and Superbowl 49
  • Why the quality of a decision doesn’t always relate to the quality of an outcome
  • How to avoid decision biases and groupthink
  • How to make good decisions when we don’t have all the facts (we almost never have all the facts)
  • And why asking simple questions like “what’s the worst possible outcome?” can open up your life to new possibilities

 

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If you've got any questions on this podcast feel free to send an email to steve@collectivecamp.us or tweet me on Twitter @steveglaveski or @future_squared

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