Every human endeavor operates on the basis of a set of unwritten rules. In the modern world, we often resist the notion that we must adhere to a set of rules that we did not establish. Each of us has the illusion of being in control of our lives, but those who are streetwise are well aware of the nature of the games, what is at stake, and what the rules are. These savvy men and women are the players. The rest of the participants in the games of life are the clueless ones. These are the individuals who fail to understand that they are playing a game, what the rules are, and the consequences of not playing by those rules.

No game I know of is as cruel to the clueless as the school playground. From personal observation, it appears that some of us are hardwired to catch on early (the players) and others are hardwired to never catch on (the clueless). Players do not chafe against the rules. They learn them, master them, and win most of the games they play.

In the prestigious company where David works, the unwritten rule is that it does not matter how much money you are making for the clients. What matters is how well you communicate with them. David is a very good trader who has consistently made a respectable return for his company’s investors. Unfortunately, he is a particularly poor communicator.

To make matters worse, he does not see the point of being a good communicator. Despite all of the advice he has received about returning calls to the company’s ...

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