BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker: Chapter 2


The Surprising science behind why everything you know about success is mostly wrong.

Chapter 2: Do Nice Guys finish last? What can you learn about trust, cooperation and kindness.. from Gang members, pirates and serial killers

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  • According to Jeffrey Pfeffer, managing what your boss thinks of you is far more important than actual hard work.
  • Brilliant but Cruel: If someone is too nice, we figure they must be less competent. In fact, being a jerk makes others see you as more powerful.
  • Why do jerks succeed? they’re assertive about what they want, and they’re not afraid to let others know about what they’ve achieved.
  • Ruut Veenhoven: The quality of society is more important than your place in the society.
  • Discipline of continuous dealings: When you know and trust someone, it makes a transaction smoother and faster. That means more transactions happen, producing a better market and more value for everyone involve.

 

Axelrod’s Four Lessons from TFT’s success: (tit for tat)

  1. Don’t be envious – Just because someone else wins, that doesn’t mean you lose. Sometimes that person needs the fruit and you need the peel. And sometimes the strategy that makes you lose small on this round makes you win big on the next. Don’t worry how well the other side is doing, worry about how well you’re doing. 
  2. Don’t be the first to defect – Not only in reciprocity one of the key elements of being influential and winning favor with others but it’s also essential that you go first. All the big winners are nice and all the big losers started off betraying.
  3. Reciprocate both cooperation and defection – Never betray anyone initially. But if a person cheats you, don’t be a martyr.
  4. Don’t be too clever :

 

SIX FAST RULES

  • Pick the right pond – the people who surround us often determine who we become.
  • Cooperate first – Go ahead and send that new inmate a gift basket. When the knives come out in prison yard, you’ll have a lot more people watching your back.
  • Being selfless isn’t saintly, it’s silly
  • Work hard but make sure it gets noticed – Jerks are not afraid to push a little. They self-promote. They negotiate. They make themselves visible.
  • Think long term and make others think long term – a person always discern on two things; whether a potential partner can be trusted and whether he is likely to be encountered again.
  • Forgive