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TD Magazine

Against the Rules

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Journalist and bestselling author Michael Lewis excels at explaining complex concepts in a way that informs and entertains. With his books, he has guided readers through the inner workings of Wall Street (Liar's Poker, Flash Boys), sports analytics (Moneyball), and Silicon Valley (The New New Thing).

In his Against the Rules podcast, produced by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg's Pushkin Industries, Lewis lends this same energy and analysis to what is happening around ideas of fairness. As headlines voice that objectivity, equity, and justice are disappearing from our personal and business lives, Lewis talks to people from professional sports, healthcare, banking and lending, and college admissions who are trying to level the playing field.


In the podcast's third season, Lewis explores multiple facets of expertise. He tries to answer such questions as: Why is it so hard to find experts when we need them? How do we judge who the real experts are? Once we've found experts, why do we struggle to believe what they tell us and follow their guidance?

For instance, in the episode "Six Levels Down," he discusses how the experts in-side a company may not be the people in visible leadership positions—it will take effort to find them and leverage what they know. In another episode, "The Art of the Untold Story," he explores how people often fail to see the experts right in front of them because many experts' specialized knowledge defies good storytelling.

Clearly, those are issues talent development professionals have experienced firsthand. What's more, Lewis's way of diving into an issue not only presents listeners with keen takeaways they can apply to their work, it also makes for a compelling story.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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