Tactical Darwinism: Survival is Victory
I learned a new term & concept called: Tactical Darwinism. This is how at the beginning of a war or crisis; all the idiots, badly trained, careless or ignorant people are killed off. The survivors all tend to be tougher and more capable because they have learned the hard lessons through the painful experience of seeing others taken down. These hard lessons are literally earned and learned in blood.
I thought about how relevant this is in all aspects of life and work or when you are thrown into a new situation or place. Using a work example: this is no different than the incoming class of the masses of summer interns at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey, only a few of them are good enough to get actual offers to go back and work there full time. Ie. Become the chosen ones.
Tips for surviving tactical Darwinism.
- Be aware: channel your excitement and fear into deep environmental awareness & focus
- Learn who all the key players are
- Identify the most capable person
- Copy that person: watch & follow what the grizzled war vet or best sales person does
- Even better get a top mentor
This allows you to learn the rules of the game.
When I wanted to learn Venture Capital, I went to learn from the best inside and outside the firm. And absorbed everything I could from them live and from a massive number of videos, podcasts and blogs and books. The rules and basics of the game.
And over time, you start to do experiments and develop new innovations on top of this. You learn what works and what does not. The longer you do this, the better you get. This is why I am not a fan of people who jump from job to job or company to company every year. They don’t stay long enough to develop the skills or see the results of their work. Good things take time.
This has served me well in my career & think it will for you.
Of course, for this to happen you do have to survive first. You do this by getting as good as possible as fast as possible. That’s where the hard work, grind and discipline comes in. Put these together and over enough time, you will inevitably do well in life. Just like you can compound interest, you can also compound skills which may be just as important.In fact, compounding skills may be even more important in the long run.