For my first book of 2017, and my test-run of using Audible to listen to books in the car while I commute to my office, I chose Scott Adams’ How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. This turned out to be a great idea as the book is written in a simple narrative as Scott recounts stories from his past and weaves in leadership and self-help ideas.
Having read much of Scott Adams’ blog posts over the last year on the Master Persuader filter, and of course being a fan of Dilbert, I was a little skeptical that there would be much serious content in this book. I was presently surprised to discover that several of the points that are made in this book overlap or run in close parallel to many of the leadership principles taught by my favorite authors on the subject. In fact, i found that the way that they are presented in this book helped clarify and cement some of them in my mind with new ideas of how to apply the principles to my own life.
New to me in this book are Scott’s emphasis on Systems over Goals and his Moist Robot Hypothesis. While I think the Moist Robot Hypothesis can be taken too far, I do agree with the basis, which is that we can program ourselves for success or other improvements. It’s not too far of a stretch from the Power of Association, which any parent immediately recognizes and starts asking questions about the other kids that their kids hang around.
Overall a good read (or listen, in my case) with interesting stories mixed-in with immediately usable ideas. For sensitive readers, be aware that the BS word pops up with some degree of regularity.