Scott Adams, whose “Dilbert” cartoon graces the comic strip pages of 2,000 newspapers and countless thousands of office bulletin boards, earned his wryly cynical view of the modern workplace the hard way: By stumbling through career missteps.
Now he’s written a book that skewers traditional business self-improvement manuals as deftly as Catbert the Evil Director of Human Resources regularly rips Dilbert.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life takes a contrarian view of what it takes to achieve career success. In a recent interview with U.S. New & World Report, for example, Adams took exception to the bromide that achievement depends on passion:
“In my many business ventures, I was always excited at the start, but when things turned bad, my enthusiasm ebbed. And when things went great, I got increasingly excited. So I think success causes passion more than passion causes success.
“Passion might be the least useful predictor of success.... So forget passion. You need a system that moves you from a place with bad odds to a place with better odds.”