BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker: Chapter 4


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

Chapter 4: It’s not what you know, It’s who you know (unless it really is what you know) What can we learn about the power of networks from hostage negotiators, top comedians and smartest person who ever lived

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  • Paul Erdos loved to collaborate. He lived out of a suitcase and routinely traveled to 25 countries, eventually working with 500 other mathematicians. ‘Erdos Number’ – a measure of how close you are to working with Paul.
  • Research shows that you don’t actually need to know more to be seen as a leader. Merely by speaking first and speaking often – people come to be seen as El Jefe and those who initially act shy in groups are perceived as less intelligent.
  • To get ahead, you need to self-promote. This comes naturally to extroverts and is actually more important than competence when it comes to being seen as a leader.
  • Having a large network opens you up to more opportunities, it exposes you to all kinds of other new possibilities.
  • Introversion predicts academic performance better than cognitive ability.
  • If you can’t stand a moment aloe, get that MBA and chase that leadership position over a passive workforce. But if people drive you crazy, dive deep into your passion, earn those ten thousand hours and be renowned as the best in your field.
  • Adam Grant: Read each situation carefully and ask yourself: What do I need to do right now to be most happy or successful?
  • When we collaborate – the gains can be exponential. But when we don’t communicate, we can end up not only missing those benefits but also getting our efforts jammed.
  • Adam Rifkin: Be a friend. It is better to give than to receive. Look for opportunities to do something for the other person, such as haring knowledge or offering an introduction to someone that person might not know but would be interested in knowing. Do not be transactional. Do not offer something because you want something in return. Instead, show a genuine interest in something you and other person have in common.
  • The Rule of Thumb in friendship: Be socially optimistic. Assume other people will like you and they probably will.
  • The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become.
  • Thank the people around you. Relationships are the key to happiness and taking time to say ‘thanks’ renews that feeling of being blessed.

 

Fundamentals of Friendship

  1. You like Ironman? I like Ironman too. – Introduce yourself. We all choose to be friends with people who are like us.
  2. Listen and Encourage other toddlers. – Ask them questions and listen. You’re likely to hear something you can connect over. Asking people questions about themselves can create a bod as strong as lifelong friendship in a surprisingly short amount of time. Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying now. Don’t be afraid to pay the person a sincere compliment. Asking for advise can really help others warm up to you. Ask what challenges people face. Everyone loves to complain a little about the things that stress them out.
  3. Be a giver. Share yout twinkies. – Offer to help people. When people say they’re having a trouble about something, find a way to help.

How to get an Amazing Mentor right for you? 

  1. Be a worthy pupil – When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
  2. Study them, really study them – Spend time and be intimately familiar with someone’s work and you want someone who scares you a bit.
  3. Wasting a mentor’s time is a mortal sin – Asking great questions is a perfect way to build a relationship. Never ask a mentor a question Google can easily answer for you.
  4. Follow up – The key is to stay relevant. You need to consistently hit them with a conversation to keep the relationship alive but without being a nuisance. Do what they said, get results and let them know they made a difference.

 

We all have stuff we can learn from someone else.