The science of winning and losing.

          Although this is a Psychology book, it’s safe to say that Psychology plays a huge role in the business world. Top Dog is nothing shy of a marvel of insights into the mind of the human being. And to be specific, the minds of men and women are very different (as shown in the book.) In this book, Po and Ashley break it down with scientific evidence, which is then relayed in layman terms (thank god) for our enjoyment and educational well being; the selected sources and references page starts on 241 and ends on 319.. I have to say, of all the books I’ve read, this one is by far my favorite, or at least top 5.

          For the record, I’m not a competitive person at all. People who are overly competitive usually just annoy me, I’m sure they annoy a lot of people. I came across this book because I actually wanted to learn how to be MORE competitive. I worked in sales at the time and I thought it would help, and yes if you’re wondering there was an “overly competitive” person in my office (the culture itself was also that of competition for obvious reasons.) But… this book did something far different for me. It made me realize in detail the inner workings of the human brain to an extent where I knew that “being more competitive” was not the answer. Because that’s not how humans work, it’s not just some switch in our head that makes us try harder. It goes deep, and it’s also massively important to your business to understand this. I pitched a few ideas to my boss at the time about office culture and better strategies to encourage people to try harder and hopefully sell more, or at least be motivated to do something, all from what I learned in this book. I didn’t stick around long enough to see them come to fruition but he still uses some of them.

          Here’s a run through on the topics this book touches on; Why testosterone is misunderstood and also very beneficial, how men and women compete differently, the nueroscience of mistakes, how environments effect the mental state (including SAT scores,) and how negative emotions can have a positive force. As I mentioned before, this book covers so many things, and also debunks a lot of things people believe in today. One of my favorite parts of the book is where they talk about Worriers and Warriors, and how a gene in our body determines which one you are. I’m almost positive I’m a worrier. I never took a test to really see for sure though. This book also talks a lot about stress and how we react to it under varying circumstances. Kelly McGonigal had a talk about stress on TED that I learned a lot from, and Top Dog only backs it up even more.

          This book is in the psychology section, but it certainly belongs in the business section. Maybe under business management… maybe I’m at Barnes and nobles too often. But my point is that if you run a business or are an entrepreneur of any sort, you need to read this book. I could go on for days about this book and the knowledge inside it, but let’s simplify it and see if this book is a top pick for you, dog.

Engage in the reading of this piece of literature if you:

    • Run a business

    • Work in sales

    • Coach a sports team

    • Manage people

    • Need to motivate people (or yourself)

    • Play a sport (including chess, read Ch. 9)

    • Are a doctor of some sort in the neurology field

    • Are a therapist or teacher

    • Simply want a better understanding of what drives human beings

      forever a student.

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