IN HIS HIT television series Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump made this jarring remark: “There are winners and losers. And most people are losers.” On a human level, that’s clearly wrong. I’d argue that every breath even the humblest soul takes is a triumph and that everyone whom that person loves and who loves him or her in return represents a monumental victory.

In terms of careers, however, Trump’s statement contains a kernel of truth, and that is why he received zero flack for making it. Trump was saying out loud what millions of business leaders really think. It’s not that most people lack intelligence or skill or even ambition, but they haven’t learned how to leverage their assets by effectively representing themselves ...

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