Some career advice

When you need some help, whom do you turn to - to the one who is best able to do the job OR somebody you like, is friendly with you and might know how to help? Research done by Harvard Business School finds that people go for the latter choice.

Drawing from their study encompassing 10,000 work relationships the authors have classified work partners into 4 archetypes: the competent jerk, who knows a lot but is unpleasent; the lovable fool, who doesn't know much but is a delight; the lovable star, who's both smart and likeable; and the incompetent jerk, who... you know.

Of course everybody wants to work with the lovable star, and nobody wants to work with the incompetent jerk. Most importantly - people prefer lovable fools any day to competent jerks.

Researchers concluded that being liked is often the most important factor in getting hired, promoted, or placed in project leadership roles. People are willing to trade the overhead of working with a jerk for the ease of working with a likable person who needs help to get things done. When I think about, I guess I agree. I'm not doing it consciously, but I guess I'm still doing it. Nice guys finish last? Maybe not!

And perhaps there's a new market for training companies - to train jerks how to be nice guys. Everybody (or majority) likes to be liked. If this one thing can significantly improve your life, I think you can turn it into a business as well.

Are you wise enough to play the fool? Or smart enough to stop being an asshole?

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