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The Ape in the Corner Office: How to Make Friends, Win Fights, and Work Smarter by Understanding Human Natureby Richard Conniff
Synopses & Reviews
Tired of swimming with the sharks? Fed up with that big ape down the hall? Real animals can teach us better ways to thrive in the workplace jungle.
Youre ambitious and want to get ahead, but whats the best way to do it? Become the biggest, baddest predator? The proverbial 800-pound gorilla? Or does nature teach you to be more subtle and sophisticated?
Richard Conniff, the acclaimed author of The Natural History of the Rich, has survived savage beasts in the workplace jungle, where he hooted and preened in the corner office as a publishing executive. Hes also spent time studying how animals operate in the real jungles of the Amazon and the African bush.
What he shows in The Ape in the Corner Office is that nature built you to be nice. Doing favors, grooming coworkers with kind words, building coalitions—these tools for getting ahead come straight from the jungle. The stereotypical Darwinian hard-charger supposedly thinks only about accumulating resources. But highly effective apes know its often smarter to give them away. That doesnt mean its a peaceable kingdom out there, however. Conniff shows that you can become more effective by understanding how other species negotiate the tricky balance between conflict and cooperation.
Conniff quotes one biologist on a chimpanzees obsession with rank: “His attempts to maintain and achieve alpha status are cunning, persistent, energetic, and time-consuming. They affect whom he travels with, whom he grooms, where he glances, how often he scratches, where he goes, what times he gets up in the morning.” Sound familiar? Its the same behavior you can find written up in any issue of BusinessWeek or The Wall Street Journal.
The Ape in the Corner Office connects with the day-to-day of the workplace because it helps explain what people are really concerned about: How come he got the wing chair with the gold trim? How can I survive as that big apes subordinate without becoming a spineless yes-man? Why does being a lone wolf mean being a loser? And, yes, why is it that jerks seem to prosper—at least in the short run?
Also available as a Random House AudioBook and an eBook
From the Hardcover edition.
Conniff, the acclaimed author of "The Natural History of the Rich," shows how one can become more effective by understanding how other species negotiate the tricky balance between conflict and cooperation.
About the Author
Richard Conniffs work takes him from the executive suite to a casual swim with piranhas in the Amazon, from tea in the members dining room at the House of Lords to the drivers seat in a demolition derby. He won the 1997 National Magazine Award for his writing in Smithsonian and the 1998 Wildscreen Prize for Best Natural History Television Script for the BBC show Between Pacific Tides. His previous books include The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide and he has also written for Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Time, and National Geographic.
From the Hardcover edition.
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