[excerpts] Michael Lewis on Simplicity in Explanations


[excerpts] Michael Lewis on Simplicity in Explanations

June 2015

“To illustrate this point, Lewis offered the example of a Wall Street floor trader compared with a Wall Street hedge fund manager. If you talk to the floor trader, he or she is likely to try to wow you with all the lingo that goes along with the intricacies of the profession. If you feel stupid at the end of the conversation, that was probably the intention.

By comparison, if you ask a billionaire hedge fund manager about how Wall Street works, you will walk away with a much deeper understanding because he or she is not afraid to put things in plain language that anyone can understand. They are not afraid of appearing stupid.

“The kind of people who do that are often very secure in their jobs,” said Lewis.

When interviewer Kelly Wright, vice president of Sales for Tableau, asked Lewis how he does this, Lewis said he thinks in pictures. And if he can’t explain that picture to someone who doesn’t understand the material, then he knows he doesn’t understand well enough yet either.”