- do internships or work in a statistical consulting laboratory
- understand that, unlike school, all writing at work is collaborative
- do the basic, understandable analyses along with the "right," state-of-the-art one, or
- understand what decisions leadership is going to make with your analyses,
but what would have been more helpful is embarrassing--don't cover my tracks. My clearest example was not in statistics but while working in a Limnology lab. The procedures for filtering and clearing the slides, so I could count the algal species on 500 slides, did not work. I spent 95 percent of my time trying to fix the procedures. I never did, so I counted slides with hardly anything showing, and submitted the counts and garbage analysis to my supervisors. To my relief, it was not used. Later, with some statistical analyses that we usually had to program ourselves and could never get to work, I was too unsure of myself to admit my failures. Finally, after some leadership training and reading about trust and learning from failure, I faced up to the shame of failing and not knowing what to do. Those admissions led to cooperative work, all trying to figure out the problems. They were not the condemnations I feared. I felt more trusted and certainly less anxious not having to watch my back. Now, that has led to trying harder things, expecting to fail at times but finding the best way forward with my group. Also, while leading, it has become important for me to create a safe environment for people to try, fail, and not feel they have to even apologize for it. Thank you, ASA for that training that changed my career and life.
Also, Jonaki Bose helped me with mine and had a nice thought herself, If there's something you are scared to do, then that is probably what you should do because there is a lot to learn there. Jonaki Bose
Mark Otto, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge in Maryland.
30 years as Statistician at US Census