Sales, CEOship and Unknown Unknowns with Bart Hedges

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Next on the Not Unreasonable Podcast is Bart Hedges. I’ve been doing business with Bart for years and I’ve always liked his style. Bart is an actuary, former teenaged entrepreneur and the son of a car salesman. He recently stepped down as the CEO of Greenlight Re, an affiliate of David Einhorn’s Greenlight capital and an innovator in the reinsurance business. On top of it all, Bart’s ‘good guy quotient’ is off the charts.

One book we discussed on the show is The Mental ABC’s of pitching, which I actually came across in a David Brooks column. Here is the passage that got me to buy the book and the key lesson from it that I carry with me to this day:

A pitcher is defined, he writes, “by the way the ball leaves his hand.” Everything else is extraneous.

In Dorfman’s description of pitching, batters barely exist. They are vague, generic abstractions that hover out there in the land beyond the pitcher’s control. A pitcher shouldn’t judge himself by how the batters hit his pitches, but instead by whether he threw the pitch he wanted to throw.

Dorfman once approached Greg Maddux after a game and asked him how it went. Maddux said simply: “Fifty out of 73.” He’d thrown 73 pitches and executed 50. Nothing else was relevant.

Focus is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Cultivate it!

Do listen to my interview with Bart. And if you want to receive an email when I publish a podcast, please sign up here!

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