“The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding, or better at explaining than doing.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life.
Advice flows from all directions. Be it mentors, coaches, advisors, consultants or employees. They feel ideas and insights are good enough to take important decisions. The real thing which matters is the ‘skin in the game’. How much would you lose if the plan fails? That determines everything. If they do not lose anything, they have zero skin in the game. If they lose something but not as much to hurt them, they have less skin in the game. If they lose everything or is detrimental to their survival, that is real skin in the game. The test of any idea is the idea generator’s skin in the game. Is it deep enough?
“If you do not take risks for your opinion, you are nothing.” – says Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
The war is real skin in the game. Survival is a victory. Winning is luck and skill in varying proportions. Scars in a war are signals of skin in the game.
That is why people who put skin in the game travel the path of ambiguity, volatility, and uncertainty. They are called entrepreneurs. Employees seek clarity at each step. They want their role to be structured. Career paths to be defined and risks to be minimized. Processes to be set. Any deviation from set expectations can lead to a bad Glassdoor review.