Considering Competition

Question: How can we compete more effectively?

 

Daniel Goleman: You look at the stars, top 10% performance versus people who’re just mediocre, just at the average, there’s a way to do a systematic analysis of the capabilities or competencies that stars have that you don’t find at the average. David McLaughlin was one of the developers of this. Really, my work in emotional intelligence looks at that.

Because it turns out, particularly for leadership, most of the competencies that distinguish outstanding leaders have nothing to do with IQ, with academic intelligence. They’re in this other domain. Whether people are getting more competitive or not, more viciously competitive, I think people have always been viciously competitive. However, people who are the most effective tend to be competitive in a different way. They compete with themselves.

As I said, they have very high standards for performance. And they’re continually trying to understand how to learn to do better. And that’s the more effective way to compete. Improve your own performance, not run against the other guy necessarily.

 

Question: What is your critique of Malcolm Gladwell?

 

Daniel Goleman: Here’s the problem with Malcolm’s book. He talks about cohorts that have been privileged by accident, by experience. But… One of them, for example, is, as I remember, Jewish lawyers who were born in the 1930s. Some of them were spectacularly successful. The problem is he didn’t take a sample of all Jewish lawyers born in the ‘30s. There also certainly be failures among them. And his model doesn’t really explain what distinguishes the failures from the outliers.

So it’s a good beginning but I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and then the book ended. But Malcolm is a wonderful writer. I really like the book.

 

Recorded on: April 22, 2009

 

The author looks at competition through the lens of emotional intelligence.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.