By Margaret Heffernan
Get into the easiest colleges. Land your subsequent large merchandising. costume for achievement. Run speedier. Play harder. paintings more durable. hold rating. And no matter what you do—make certain you win.
Competition runs via each element of our lives this day. From the cubicle to the race music, in enterprise and love, faith and technological know-how, what concerns now's to be the largest, quickest, meanest, hardest, richest.
The upshot of these kind of contests? As Margaret Heffernan indicates during this eye-opening e-book, festival usually backfires, generating an explosion of dishonest, corruption, inequality, and threat. The demolition derby of contemporary existence has broken our skill to paintings together.
But it doesn’t need to be this fashion. CEOs, scientists, engineers, traders, and inventors world wide are pioneering larger how one can create nice items, construct enduring companies, and develop relationships. Their mystery? Generosity. belief. Time. Theater. From the cranberry toilets of Massachusetts to the lecture rooms of Singapore and Finland, from tiny start-ups to worldwide engineering enterprises and liked American organizations—like Ocean Spray, Eileen Fisher, Gore, and Boston Scientific—Heffernan discovers methods of dwelling and dealing that foster creativity, spark innovation, strengthen our social cloth, and consider loads higher than profitable.
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Additional resources for A Bigger Prize: How We Can Do Better than the Competition
30 | a b igger prize “By the time kids get to high school,” Betsy Rapoport tells me, “they have been tracked for years. If they are kids of savvy parents, they will have figured out that taking electives drives the grade point average down, so they will have been discouraged from taking art. They might love art—be really talented—but now the whole focus is on tactics: What gets the grades and the GPA up? Which are the best or easiest classes to do well in? What teachers grade easiest? So then you find those classes are all full of really driven kids—or the children of very strategic parents.
Many of de Waal’s experiments have provoked outrage from economists, who simply can’t accept that competition and self-interest don’t prevail. Nevertheless, his work has accumulated evidence that we have evolved behaviors to avoid the detrimental effects of extreme competition because doing so has given us a sustained evolutionary advantage. Diane Wilson and her sister, my father and his brothers, Tim the TV producer, the many siblings I’ve talked to who confessed to but avoided reliving oh, b rother !
High school students are always full of stories about key textbooks being hidden in school libraries and bulletin board notices strangely disappearing. What rankings do—naturally—is pit students against one another. How could rankings not have this effect? There’s only so much room at the top, even in percentile rankings. As such, rankings teach exactly the wrong lesson for life: for me to win, you must lose. Teaching children, who are born with collaborative skills, that success is a solo activity is poor preparation for their working lives, but the lessons sink in fast and deep.
A Bigger Prize: How We Can Do Better than the Competition by Margaret Heffernan