Co-winner of the 2015 Salon London Transmission Prize
Get into the best schools. Land your next big promotion. Dress for success. Run faster. Play tougher. Work harder. Keep score. And whatever you do -- make sure you win.
Competition runs through every aspect of our lives today. From the cubicle to the race track, in business and love, religion and science, what matters now is to be the biggest, fastest, meanest, toughest, richest.
The upshot of all these contests? As Margaret Heffernan shows in this eye-opening book, competition regularly backfires, producing an explosion of cheating, corruption, inequality, and risk. The demolition derby of modern life has damaged our ability to work together.
But it doesn't have to be this way. CEOs, scientists, engineers, investors, and inventors around the world are pioneering better ways to create great products, build enduring businesses, and grow relationships. Their secret? Generosity. Trust. Time. Theater. From the cranberry bogs of Massachusetts to the classrooms of Singapore and Finland, from tiny start-ups to global engineering firms and beloved American organizations -- like Ocean Spray, Eileen Fisher, Gore, and Boston Scientific -- Heffernan discovers ways of living and working that foster creativity, spark innovation, reinforce our social fabric, and feel so much better than winning.
About the Author
Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, chief executive, and author of Willful Blindness, which was shortlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Best Business Book award. Born in Texas, raised in Holland, and educated at Cambridge University, she produced prize-winning programs for the BBC before returning to the United States to run multimedia technology companies. She advises senior executives around the world and writes for the Huffington Post, CBSMoneywatch, and Inc.com.
Visit mheffernan.com or follow Margaret on Twitter @M_Heffernan
Heffernan systematically deconstructs the social myths associated with hypercompetitiveness while providing a formidable case about how counterproductive, and even perverse, it can be [She] considers the effects of hypercompetitiveness in the realms of family, education, sports, scientific research, and business and corporate leadership .The step-by-step accumulation of argument and evidence is overwhelming in its thoroughness and attention to detail.”Kirkus, STARRED review
"In this bold sociology of organizations, Heffernan sets her sights on an issue that cuts across industries, nations, and individuals: Why is our obsession with winning not only failing to deliver the benefits we expect, but leaving us ill equipped to solve the problems competition creates?..."A Bigger Prize" is an important call to build more collaborative, trustworthy and enduring institutions." New York Times Book Review