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Download A Bigger Prize: How We Can Do Better than the Competition by Margaret Heffernan PDF

By Margaret Heffernan

Get into the easiest faculties. Land your subsequent significant promoting. gown for achievement. Run quicker. Play more durable. paintings more durable. preserve ranking. And no matter what you do—make definite you win.

Competition runs via each point of our lives this day. From the cubicle to the race tune, in enterprise and love, faith and technological know-how, what issues now could be to be the most important, quickest, meanest, hardest, richest.

The upshot of a majority of these contests? As Margaret Heffernan exhibits during this eye-opening ebook, festival on a regular basis backfires, generating an explosion of dishonest, corruption, inequality, and probability. The demolition derby of contemporary existence has broken our skill to paintings together.

But it doesn’t need to be this manner. CEOs, scientists, engineers, traders, and inventors all over the world are pioneering higher how one can create nice items, construct enduring companies, and develop relationships. Their mystery? Generosity. belief. Time. Theater. From the cranberry bathrooms of Massachusetts to the lecture rooms of Singapore and Finland, from tiny start-ups to worldwide engineering organisations 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, toughen our social cloth, and think lots greater than profitable.

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But she decided that what she wanted, more than anything, was to get into Brown. It had to be Brown. “Then some of her friends applied to Brown too, and she came home—it was like she had been betrayed. How dare they ‘ruin’ her chance? When early decision letters came through, all her friends got acceptances and she didn’t. All those kids—100 percent got into their early decision colleges and Susie didn’t, and she was so miserable. ’ “Then, when she didn’t get into Brown, she was just completely devastated.

Parents make strenuous efforts to ensure their children’s success in the fight. Living in Boston, I encountered two parents who, on learning that one primary school used the game Red Light/Green Light in its selection process, devoted hours to training their five-year-old daughter in the game. I’ve known parents who preferred to send their child to a school not strongly associated with mathematical achievement in order that their mathematically zealous child would stand out. One father considered sending his son to a school he believed to be inferior on the grounds—for which he proffered data—that a high grade point average mattered more to colleges than the quality of the education the child had received.

We will not—and should not hope to—see the day when hormone testing is used in interviews or job recruiting. As complex as it is, the science is clear on one thing: biology alone can never account fully for the complex interaction of the social and psychological processes that drive behavior. Hormone levels on their own—before or after birth—can’t explain personality, and even the most neurochemically minded of researchers end up talking about the importance of parental attachment and environment.

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