Practical Philosophy

It’s better to hunt in packs

Think of the grizzly bear. A solitary predator. Many years ago, people would pit bears to fight against tigers, and even lions. The bear would always win. It is perhaps the strongest land-based predator alive, except for one:

Humans. The ultimate hunters. Humans have been responsible for the extinction of every mammal in the last 126,000 years. Unlike bears, humans have historically hunted in groups, working together with tools to bring down larger prey.

Sports and business are similar to hunting. In football, the team works together to hit the target. In business, the people work together to build wealth.

So how do we measure our predatory instinct? According to Jordan Peterson, we can measure it with agreeableness. Agreeableness is how often we prioritise the interests of others over our own. The higher you are, the more you put others first. Jordan Peterson says is related to the maternal instinct – women tend to be higher in agreeableness.

On the flip side, the less agreeable you are, the more predatory you are in nature. You put your own interests first before others. At the extremely low end, low agreeableness is a great predictor of incarceration.

I’m low in agreeableness:

Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. People who are less agreeable are more likely to get raises, for example. They ask for it. People who are too highly agreeable try to help others too much, and in the process don’t look out for themselves.

Taking the test and revealing my low agreeableness was quite enlightening – and amusing. For one thing, I work in customer success, which is all about helping other people. However, I think that this reveals that we need to work together. For me to reach my goals, I need to help my clients reach theirs. The same goes for working in a team versus going it alone:

It’s better to hunt in packs.

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