Win Bigly by Scott Adams (@ScottAdams) [Book Review]
“What I saw with Trump’s candidacy for president is that the “within reason” part of our understanding about reality was about to change, bigly. I knew that candidate Trump’s persuasion skills were about to annihilate the public’s ability to understand what they were seeing, because their observations wouldn’t fit their mental model of living in a rational world. The public was about to transition from believing—with total certainty—“the clown can’t win” to “Hello, President Trump.” And in order to make that transition, they would have to rewrite every movie playing in their heads. To put it in simple terms, the only way Trump could win was if everything his critics understood about the true nature of reality was wrong.
Then Trump won.”
Scott Adams is the creator and author of the well-distributed Dilbert comic strip. I’d heard him on several podcasts over the years and liked his speaking style and ideas.
Then Scott went out and endorsed Donald Trump for President.
Well actually, he hadn’t endorsed Trump; Scott had noticed Trump’s style, weighed Donald against his competitors, and decided to predict — which is a lot different from support — that Trump would win. Thing was, Scott’s political blogging and almost-daily livestreaming on Periscope, almost every time explaining the cleverness and great strategy behind Trump moves that the social media public thought clueless and dumb, made it feel like Adams was a fan and backer of Trump.
I’d suspect that many Americans still put Adams on this category. I did, until I started reading some of his posts and watching a few livestreams during the campaign. Scott had, at tremendous risk to his reputation and maybe some areas of his career, chosen an amazing niche: He would examine and explain every Donald Trump tweet and action through the lens of Master Persuasion.
Scott had attached himself to a current event that everyone was following, and chosen the side that many people were staunchly against. This was a stroke of genius for his brand (if it worked), albeit a very risky one: people came to (and probably still do) hate Scott for pairing anything positive along with “Donald Trump” in the same sentence.
Adams had assessed Trump and decided that Trump was “the best persuader I had ever seen,” the driving force behind the Presidency prediction.
Turns out Scott Adams was right. Win Bigly came a year after the Trump win, and it explains, from a first-person perspective, everything I’ve said so far.
The book is not about Donald Trump, per se; it utilizes the story of Trump to explain the author’s big idea: You don’t need facts and logic to be persuasive in today’s world. Actually, facts and logic work against you in the game of persuasion.
This very point was really hard for someone like me, analytical to a fault, to swallow. It is also hard for the many anti-Trump resistors who fancy themselves smarter and more mentally stable than Donald Trump.
Scott’s career, at least as a well-paid professional speaker, suffered. He’s said in many interviews how the formerly daily calls had slowed to nearly zero. The success of his long-running comic strip had him in a position to not need them though. Adams also shares how he faced death threats, lost many friends and business acquaintances in the Trump-is-a-genius process.
Win Bigly is a quick read and page-turner that I had to force myself to stop reading in order to tend to other business.
You Should Read Win Bigly IF: You want to learn how to be more persuasive, which is the foundation of power, getting people on your side, and having more control over situations.