By Adam Jusko
Eric Barker’s new book Barking Up the Wrong Tree is full of the sometimes counter-intuitive success nuggets that have made his blog (also Barking Up the Wrong Tree) so popular. In many ways the book follows in the footsteps of Malcolm Gladwell, the Heath Brothers, and other recent authors who meld a range of interesting studies and anecdotes into a semi-cohesive theme. Like those others, Barking Up the Wrong Tree is super-readable and very enjoyable, even if at times the point of it all can get a little fuzzy.
The book’s title refers to the idea that traditional maxims of success don’t always hold up under the microscope. For example, nice guys do tend to finish last — but they also finish first (as long as they’re not complete doormats). And extroverts win the day — except when they very often don’t. Plus, the people you think of as the bad guys (pirates, Genghis Khan) understand certain success lessons better than their more socially-acceptable foes.