Why do some less talented students manage to consistently outperform their smarter classmates in crucial exams? Why are men typically prepared to gamble long odds and women aren't? Why do so many market leading-companies unnecessarily cede their no.1 position? The drive to be the fittest has always been at the core of how we understand ourselves from Sun Tzu and Machiavelli to Adam Smith and Darwin, but how important is the competitive instinct in our everyday lives, and how can understanding it make us better at what we do? Adaptive competitiveness is much more that wanting to beat a rival. It's a precise combination of nature and nurture; your biology and psychology in a war for control. Whether you are a student peaking for your final exams, or a negotiator securing an incredible deal, a soldier surviving an ambush or an Olympic athlete striving for gold it's the right conditions that make a winner. Studying competitive arenas from the workplace, the stock market, sport, politics, the military and schools, and using the latest findings in genetics, neuroscience and behavioural psychology, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman unveil the astounding, often counter-intuitive truths about how we compete and the crucial ingredients that sometimes stand between winning and losing.