Do b*stards always get ahead in business?
There is a general opinion that to be successful in business, you have to be ruthless in your ambition, and willing to trample over everyone and everything to get what you want. While it’s no secret that Dark Triad personalities often do really well in business, do you have to be a bastard to get ahead?
Well, the simple answer to that question is of course, no. It is perfectly possible to be a nice human being and be successful in business, and that’s certainly what I aspire to on a daily basis. However, where the nice guys often fall down is not because they’re being ‘taken advantage of’ by the people they set out to be nice to, but because they’re coming up against the nasty guys and coming off worse.
Whatever sector you work in, and however ethical and moral you try to be in your dealings, if you meet a bastard, 9 times out of 10 you’re going to come off worse. Why? Because they don’t care about anything but themselves and their own success. You, on the other hand are thinking about your employees, customers, clients, your community, and generally upholding the standards you believe in. It’s no surprise that it will end up being you who either walks away or makes an uncomfortable compromise.
When you walk away from a deal, or compromise on what you wanted in order to do business with them, the bastard thinks they have won. And perhaps you think that too.
But let’s just take a moment to imagine what it must be like to live like that on a daily basis. To feel that you have to fight, aggressively, all the time to maintain your status. To assume everyone is backstabbing you purely because you know that’s what you would do to them given the chance. To never be able to trust anyone, or take advice without hearing it as criticism. To constantly be surrounded by new people because nobody wants to stay around you long term. Sure, you may be winning at business, but you’re failing at life.