The Power of Tails and the Art of Influencing: Lessons for Success

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Oct 10, 20233 min read


The Power of Tails and the Art of Influencing: Lessons for Success


In a world where our attention is often drawn to things that are huge, profitable, famous, or influential, it is easy to underestimate the rarity and power of tail events. We must come to terms with the fact that failure is a normal part of the journey, whether it be in business or personal endeavors. Additionally, the ability to influence others becomes crucial as we navigate through a complex web of relationships and decision-making processes. This article explores the significance of tail events, the importance of influencing, and provides actionable advice for success.

The Significance of Tail Events:

It is a common rule of thumb that anything remarkable, be it a successful company or an influential individual, is the result of a tail event. These events, characterized by their rarity and impact, often shape the course of history. However, our obsession with these exceptional occurrences can lead us to overlook the countless instances where things do not work out. Embracing the reality of failure and understanding that it is a normal part of the journey can help us navigate through challenges with resilience and determination.

The Art of Influencing:

Influence is the key to achieving desired outcomes, especially when collaboration and teamwork are involved. The illusion of freedom to decide becomes apparent as we recognize that working with others necessitates the need to influence. Merely being right is not enough; we must be able to articulate our perspective and convince others to align with our ideas. Great managers understand the power of storytelling, creating narratives that spread effortlessly and inspire action. They also recognize that good ideas can come from anyone, whether it be clients, salespeople, team members, advisors, or even other companies.

Actionable Advice for Influencing:

  • 1. Adopt the Advisor Mindset: To influence others effectively, it is essential to understand their frameworks and principles for decision-making. By aligning our arguments with their values and beliefs, we can increase the likelihood of them embracing our ideas. Managers should aim to empower their reports to make decisions by fostering an advisor mindset, rather than controlling every aspect of decision-making.
  • 2. Embrace the Solver Mindset: When interacting with managers, it is crucial to reduce their decision burden by presenting solutions rather than adding to the problem. By showcasing the positive impact of a particular decision, we can make a compelling case for our ideas. Reports should strive to adopt a solver mindset to influence their managers effectively.
  • 3. Reflect on Past Bets: Trust and collective learning are built by reflecting on past decisions that did not work out. By analyzing failures, we can identify areas for improvement and avoid repeating mistakes. This self-reflection creates an environment of growth and fosters a culture of innovation.


In conclusion, recognizing the significance of tail events and embracing failure as a normal part of the journey can empower us to navigate through challenges with resilience. Additionally, mastering the art of influencing allows us to shape outcomes and create meaningful change. By adopting the advisor mindset, empowering others to make decisions, and embracing the solver mindset, we can increase our impact and drive success. Remember, success is not solely determined by the magnitude of our achievements but also by the relationships we cultivate and our ability to persuade and inspire others.


  1. "Tails, You Win", (Glasp)
  2. "The Looking Glass: the biggest reasons I failed to influence", (Glasp)

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