Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the keys to power 2

so we've established that power is the ability to get things done, whether through other people or doing it ourselves if we have to.

but how do we get others to do things for us? simple. give them what they want.

when we want milk, we buy it at a grocery store. when we want our cars fixed, we pay someone to do that. power over others is similar. you have to offer them something in return for their services. what you offer need not be financial, but more often than not, those who we idolize for being powerful use money.

so lets explore what things we can offer in return for the services of others. we can look at a movie like "The Godfather" where mob boss Don Corleone trades favors for favors. when Don Corleone wants his godson in a movie, he offers the producer some leverage in dealing with the unions. it's an application of the saying "if you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours."

of course, not everyone will want what you have to offer. what do you do then? if you're Don Corleone, you can make an offer they can't refuse. cut off the head of their prized horse. or assure them that if they don't do something, their brains will splatter when you pull the trigger.

but lets assume you're not Don Corleone. lets assume you don't want to break the law. its the way i do things.

in such cases i still take lessons from "The Godfather". should anyone ever turn down my request for a favor, i never ask them for a favor again. how does this help gain power over them, you ask. simple. i know i have a lot to offer - my friendship, my talent, my connections, my loyalty, my sense of humor, my personality, my time, me, essentially, and all that i am and can do.

and when they turn me down, they lose everything i have to offer in return. and i make sure not to give to them if they refuse me what i ask of them. if a store refused to sell me milk i wanted, not only would i not give them my money for that transaction, i would not shop there again for anything. and if i'm really ticked off, i will do what i can do reduce their business by taking more customers to my side. to get me to stop and to stay in business, that grocery store will have to acquiese to my requests. i will then have the upper hand. same principle.

power over others is gained through exchange.

the second key to power, like the first key of power, comes back to you - value what you can offer to others. one key left.

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