In this world system it really isn’t about the former two items above. What it all boils down to in the end is power. Power will attract both money and sex. This is not to say that the object of power is either of those things. However, as power increases, it’s like a magnetic pull, it can’t be helped; those two entities will surely rear their heads.
Some people would say that money is power. Others would say that sex is. I both agree and disagree, because I tend to look at power as an element all its own. Power has structure. Power has rules, and if you follow the rules, you’ll maintain whatever level of power you have. If you break the rules, you will not only lose your power, but you’ll also pay a price. Some may ask, “What if I don’t want to play the game of power?” and to those I’d say, “You are already playing, you are probably just on the wrong end of the game. Denying that the game exists likely means that you my friend are being “defeated” on some level, and you obviously don’t have much power at all.” We all play the game, whether we like it or not. The best thing to do is to learn the rules of the game so you can minimize the negative impact that comes from transgressing the law.
I’ve always been a “hood” type brother, just more of a “Robin Hood”, so get comfortable, pull up a chair and come back weekly as we break down the irrefutable Laws of Power. Our guiding text will be The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene.
Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires.
THE PRINCE, Niccolo’ Machiavelli, 1469- 1527
As I read the manual I’m often reminded of times that I have either seen the power of a law in motion through actions of my own or via someone I came into contact with. I have also witnessed first hand the negative impact of violating these laws. I would like to think that I’m pretty “up” on how to maneuver in a variety of circles, yet when I came upon rule #1, I realized that I had broken it on more than one occasion.
Never Outshine The Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite - inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
I was always told to do my best. Be two to three times better than the man/woman next to you if possible, especially if I’m the sole minority in a setting. So, I have always set out to “kick butt and take names” but one particular time early in my adulthood this strategy backfired. At the time, I had taken a part time job during the holidays in the retail sector. Part of my pay was built on commission so needless to say, I was “shaking hands and kissing babies” to make sure that my checks would be fat. I had bills to pay. The manager of the store was quite pleased with my performance, but there was a problem on one of the days that I arrived. The manager pulled me into the back to commend me on my sales numbers, but asked if I wouldn’t mind swinging her some sales, her numbers were a bit on the low side that week and she needed a little help. My response came in a facial expression that read like the 80’s music commercial where the guy says “No my brother, you have to get your own.” I begrudgingly threw her a couple of sales, keeping the better ones for myself, but she already knew my heart.
The end of the season arrives and I was the #2 sales guy overall, second to an Italian cat who had a regular customer base that he had built for about a year or more. I was looking to stay on the rest of the year based on what the manager told me upon hiring, “if you do a good job, we’ll look at hiring you on permanently after the holidays,” but I was let go. Supposedly the sales forecast didn’t warrant keeping any of the temporary help. That was fine, although I didn’t totally believe it. I figured she was still salty about my not dumping my money into her lap. It was cool, I had made some friends in some neighboring stores, so I put in for positions in stores that were actively hiring and still I came up with nothing.
I knew one of the brothers who worked as an assistant manager in the shoe store next door and I asked him what was up. Why couldn’t I get on? I never was late at the other store, I had great sales, and I worked extra shifts. The reason, he said and I can still hear the words now almost 20 years later. “Kathy,” not her real name, “said you weren’t a team player.”
It took me a while to find a job. Not to mention, this was the only mall in the college town of Gainesville, FL so most of the managers were friendly with each other. I got iced out because I broke the first law of power, Never Outshine the Master. In this instance, the manager reminded me who really had the power.
What are your thoughts regarding the 1st Law?