We live in an era that worships the individual superstar – whether in the business world think Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Jack Ma or in culture think Luke Skywalker, Batman and Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. But is it true that superstars make the difference? More specifically should companies focus on hiring stars over other traits?

We have an answer. MIT’s Alex Pentland has conducted extensive studies on individuals and team dynamics in business settings. And the punchline was that the quality of interactions, not the quality of the individuals that mattered. In this podcast, I go through his findings in more detail

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

There are a bewildering array of diets: GI, Atkins, Paleo, Ketogenic, Dukan, Scandinavian LCHF, Banting, Bulletproof, South Beach. It goes on and on. 

All of these have there strong advocates and so it’s hard to decide which one to opt for. Thankfully, the work of Professor Valter Longo,an expert on ageing, cuts through these all to find the best diet to live long and healthy. I summarise the main findings of his "longevity" diet, which include suggestions like eating mainly vegan to time restricted eating. 

We tend to think of time in one simple way - that time is an arrow. So we're constantly moving forward. Often this can us feel unhappy with where we are. But there are alternative ways of thinking of time. In this podcast, I discuss four:

  1. Time becomes events. 
  2. Expanded presence.
  3. Cyclical time.  
  4. No past or future. 

Hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

July 29, 2019

How To Avoid Pickpockets

On this podcast, I talk about pick-pocketing.  I’ve researched the subject and learned how pickpockets operate, how to avoid them and what precautions to take. I’ll share my findings, which include how:

  • Pickpockets often look at victims shows to assess how wealthy they are
  • Most acts happen at doors whether on trains or entrances and exits to busy buildings.
  • The classic technique for a pickpocket is to bump into the victim when the train lurches.

Hopefully, the advice on the podcast will help you avoid a nasty experience while on holiday.

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also, make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

Before starting Macro Hive – my own research business, I worked for over twenty years in large banks. And the finance sector is notorious for being male-dominated. 

As a man, it’s easy to shrug this off, or at best attend a few workshops on implicit bias and think you’ve done your bit. But it doesn’t sit well with me. At a very personal level, I have a daughter I want her to face a level playing field when she enters the workforce.

So, I often think about what can men do to make a difference? Well, I’ve looked at many studies on this subject and found there are four common ways men hold women back at work. In this podcast, I discuss what they are.

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

All my life I’ve been forecasting financial markets – first at big banks like JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, and Nomura, and now at my own research firm – Macro Hive. Throughout, I’ve always felt like it’s a fool's errand. Can I seriously predict the future? In the end, I make peace with myself that my objective is not always to be right, but to be right more often than being wrong. But more importantly, the fear of being wrong is always driving me to research how to become a better forecaster.

As it happens some of the best work in this area has been done by the American Political scientist Philip Tetlock. He summarised his work in the excellent book called “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction“. In the book, he lists ten commandments to forecasting well, which include

  • Focus on questions where your hard work will pay off.
  • Break big problems into smaller ones. 
  • Strike the right balance between inside and outside views. 
  • Strike the right balance between under- and overreacting to evidence. 
  • Acknowledge the counter-arguments. 

I run through these and the rest in this podcast.

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also, make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

 

I’m a huge fan of Oscar Wilde. He was the 19th-century Irish poet and playwright and is perhaps the most quoted artist aside from Shakespeare. It helps that he was incredibly witty, but it’s the honesty and truth behind the quotes that have made them endure. So in this podcast, I’m going to share some of his best, including:

  • “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
  • “I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
  • “Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance. “
  • “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
  • "Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely if ever do they forgive them.”

You can find a more complete list of quotes in this blog.

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

I’m always on the look-out for advice on management. In an earlier podcast, I discussed the ideas of Peter Drucker from his 1967 book “The Effective Executive”. This time, I thought I’d go 2,500 years back to the Chinese philosopher and statesman Confucius.  

You may wonder what he had to say about management, but you have to remember he was a master of understanding how hierarchical structures worked. And what are companies except for a set of hierarchical relationships? So, I’ve gone through Confucius’ classic text “The Analects” and picked out the best lines that could be relevant for business leaders and managers in the podcast. Some of the lines include:

  • Do not impose on others what you yourself do not want”
  • And Avoid over-promising and under-delivering
  • The good leader is at ease without being arrogant; the bad leader is arrogant without being at ease
  • Surround yourself with people that are better than you
  • A good manager helps others realise what they are good at, the bad manager helps them realise what they are bad at.
  • Don’t be short-termist as you’ll not accomplish the big goals
  • If leaders don’t act unethically, others won’t either even if it carried a reward

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also, make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

Dale Carnegie was the best-selling author of the 1936 classic. How to Win Friends and Influence People. His other classic written in 1948 was How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  He wrote it because in his own words he "was one of the unhappiest lads in New York". On this podcast, I run through some of his principles and tips laid out in the book. These include:

  • “Don’t stew about the future. Just live each day until bedtime”.
  • The next time trouble hits, think what’s the worst that can happen, mentally prepare for the worst, then calmly try to improve upon the worst
  • Once decided, act – don’t think about outcomes
  • “Unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. It often means you have aroused jealousy and envy”
  • “Count your blessings – not your problems!”

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also, make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

Even though I'm a Liverpool fan, I have to admire Sir Alex Ferguson. He managed the English soccer club, Manchester United, from 1986 to 2013. During that time, he won the league a record 13 times, which was considerably more than the next most successful manager of an English club: Liverpool's Bob Paisley, who won the league six times. In total, he won 38 footballing trophies  - which on some measures makes him one of the best coaches of any sport of all-time.

So what was the secret of his success? Based on interviews of him and on his own writings, I've found a number of traits that stood out. On this podcast, I discuss them. They include his desire for constant renewal, a strong work ethic, prioritising the team over individual stars, focusing on the next win, being decisive, obsessing about football and sheer passion. 

I hope you find this helpful. You can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Deep See With Bilal”. Also, make sure to rate and review this podcast and enjoy! 

Bilal

 

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