Law #11 – Learn to keep People dependent on you


Welcome my magnificent reader, this post analyzes the Law “Learn to Keep People Dependent on You”. What follows is an in-depth summary with approximately 2400 words.

Picture of Learn to Keep People dependent on you

 

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

 

 

Contents of Law #11

Part 1: Video Summary

Part 2: Examples & Applications

Part 3: Negative Example

Part 4: Spirit of the Law

Part 5: Most Important Learnings

 

 

Video Summary

 

 

Examples & Applications

#1

Otto von Bismarck was a master strategist, knowing when to lay low and when to shine. When his was in his early thirties he was forced to choose a side. The powerful players in the game was the Kaiser and his stronger enemies. Bismarck did something, that didn’t seem smart at first, but he had an ultimate plan in mind.

He chose to ally himself with the weak Kaiser Frederick. Bismarck, known as the Iron Chancellor for a reason, helped lead the monarchy to new heights. His bold & authoritative approach fended off the empires enemy while fortifying his position as the royal advisor.

The king grew more and more dependent on Bismarck, so did his brother William, who succeeded the Kaiser.

William didn’t share his brother’s love for Bismarck but feared him. He could not get rid of him, because he knew that he was too weak to rule alone, hence he allowed Bismarck to pull the strings behind the throne. Despite having the crown on his head, both he and Bismarck knew, who the real master was. A favorable position to find oneself in, because it is not your head who is in peril if the mood of the citizens changed to the worse.

By making himself indispensable to his master, Bismarck was able to rule out of the shadows, and had more power & influence than the Kaiser himself.

Example #2

Apple is a great (mostly negative) example for this law. Like no one else do they manage to not only create a cult out of their brand but also keep existing customers dependent on them. The recent development clearly shows an expansion of their tactic.

A little background story. Every mobile phone can be charged with a mini-USB cable. Every tablet can be charged with a mini-USB cable. Not a single Apple product can be charged with the standard cable. Coincidence? Absolutely not. They want people to only use their tailored products. If you own an iPhone and have tried to buy a counterfeit accessories from China, you might get an error warning you that this device is not supported, because it was not produced by Apple themselves.

I have hear the rumors that Apple plans to create their own headphone plug for their next generation devices. So you will only be able to use their ear plugs and nothing else.

While this is pretty bad for the customer, it is an ingenious money-making scheme for Apple.

Worst things for last. The recent iPhone update has gone too far. This evil company always pretends that it has the best in mind for their customer. Repeatedly preaching „security“, despite being one of the unsafest devices on the market (see The Fappening, where iPhone users had their nude pictures leaked). This new update makes it impossible for a non-Apple-licenced mobile phone store to repair or modify iPhones. If they try, the mobile phone spits out the Error 53, locking the phone indefinitely. Even their customer support has no power to fix this issue and they will recommend you to buy a new phone.

You must only use original iPhone accessories and Apple stores when you want to repair your phone. An evil mastermind plan that works well… as long as there are suckers who keep buying overpriced Apple products.

For me this was the last nail in the coffin. I owned the first iPhone and now the current iPhone because I was on holiday and they didn’t carry the Samsung I wanted. I won’t ever buy an Apple product again, but I doubt that they will care, for there is a sucker born every minute. And if one has to think of a logo for Law #11 to perfectly embody “Learn to Keep People Dependent on You” it would be the Apple logo.

 

Real Life Application

Narcopath. A narcissistic sociopath/psychopath.

They are natural born manipulators, experts in making people dependent on them. Many unknowing people have already fallen victim to them, unable to free themselves from the tight grasp of the narco path.

An effective device in their arsenal is love bombing, stroking their ego, push/pull techniques and sending mixed signals. All of this for the sole reason to hold power over the victim and to make it depend on upon the Narcissist.

Lovebombing and approaching the person of interest in a sycophant manner is the first step. The Narcissist is going to bombard his target with love and affection, with a malicious Machiavellian motive. Everything Narcissus says is nothing but smoke & noise; merely a tissue of lies, with the aim to seduce his victim.

As soon as his target has fallen in love with him, the real games begin. Love bombing in this stage is ineffective, and the Narcissist steps up his game and utilizes push & pull techniques, sending mixed signals and taking them on a rollercoaster of emotions. Mixing fear with love, anger with sadness; in short, covering all ranges of emotions in the victim.

Effective for both Narcissists and normal people is the technique of telling your target that the connection between both of you is unique. That you have never felt anything like that before. If the victim is baited into this frame and starts to believe it as well, she is quickly going to become emotionally dependent on the perpetrator. Of course, this only works when one thinks with the heart, not the brain. Since most people are much more emotional than analytical, the Narcissists never run out of victims.

Isolation is an effective technique used to disable the logical input of concerned friends and is applied frequently.

Conclusio: Learn to evoke emotions in the target that she only feels when around you. If you succeed in doing so, you are certain to become indispensable for her.

 

Negative Example

Dumbo Pretendiavelli was working a grunt job and made himself indispensable by over achieving the set goals by a huge margin. He was so valuable at his grunt job that when his manager got promoted and the position was to be re-assigned, his colleague got the job. His colleague always achieved and exceeded his goals and had superior social skills. Not only that but if the company had promoted Dumbo, they would receive a huge backlash in the productivity of the area where Dumbo Pretendiavelli’s sweat. Blood & Tears went into.

Dumbo adhered to this law too strictly and hence lost his opportunity to get a promotion. He thought that hard work always pays off and is the road to success, while subsequentially ignoring the people aspect and the logical approach to the power games in his office.

He should have listened to Niccolò Machiavelli and applied this wisdom to his current position, when Niccolò said:

“A wise prince must devise ways by which his citizens will always have need for the state and for him in every circumstance. Then he will always find them faithful.”

 

Spirit of Learn to Keep People Dependent on You

 

Making yourself indispensable

Find a skill where you stand out, a skill that makes you indispensable. A skill to make people dependent on you. Be it technical, creative, or people related. For example, you could master a new operating system or a new machine, your company just acquired. If your network is great, if you are well connected, you too can make yourself vital for a person or company. It is hard to replace the irreplaceable.

 

If you have to force people to do what you wish with them, they will resent you for it. For example, you can make a person want to give you his wallet, by sticking a gun in his ribs. Ultimately you do get what you want – the wallet – but your opposite is going to despise you.

Instead, focus on making yourself indispensable to the other person, so they honestly believe that they WANT to do things for you. Out of their own free will. Make them come to you, use bait if necessary.

Bait is a great cue. Make sure you know what will keep people dependent on you. Merely having good-will is a positive sign for some, but not enough for most.

 

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well” – Margaret Thatcher

 

You want to not only hone one skill that makes you a valuable asset but as many as possible. Give people as many opportunities as possible to be drawn to you. The more bait you throw the more fish you catch.

There is a difference between intensive and extensive value. Intensive value is what the creative artist possesses. Extensive value is what Henry Kissinger possessed. A lot of connections and expertise in many different directions. In short:

  • Intensive Value = Putting your eggs in one basket
  • Extensive Value = Splitting your eggs among multiple baskets

 

Both can be useful in different situations. But be careful, if your only area of expertise becomes obsolete, you too will become redundant hence you need to learn to keep people dependent on you as soon as humanly possible.

 

Another way to ensure people will want to keep you well-fed and happy is by finding out their secrets. Bait them into revealing sensible details, and you shall fear no attack from them. They won’t jeopardize their good reputation, by cutting you off, in fear of having their secrets revealed.

 

Make yourself indispensable to your boss. Attach yourself to him and abide by Law #1. If your master’s success depends on you, he is sure to bring you with him, when he gets promoted.

It is not unusual for top managers to change companies, sometimes into completely different sectors. When they do, they usually bring their little team with them. This includes assistants, secretaries, and even drivers. Those who are expendable and not carried over to the new company might find themselves without a job when their new boss decides to rebuild the team.

 

In reverse, this law can backfire in various situations. If you work too hard and achieve results that outshine those of your peers, the company is going to think twice to promote you.

Even if you would make a great leader, the decline in productivity of your current task will make them think twice.

 

As a company, you need to try your best to learn to keep dependent on you and apply these insights to your business. Not only your customers but your whole microenvironment. That includes customers, investors, buyers, sellers, employees, public, media, intermediaries, etc.

 

Do you know why a magician never reveals his tricks? First of all the audience would become disillusionized and secondly a competitor would steal his tricks. Both very unfavorable outcomes and to be avoided at all costs. In this case, he would lose his mystery and would unnecessarily face more competition.

 

In Management

A wise manager doesn’t follow this law to the point. The Austrian Management Guru, Peter F. Drucker has something to say about it:

 

We have to learn to lead people, not contain them.

 

If you team always looks to you for approval of their actions, your company becomes heavy-footed. Look at Adolf Hitler. He couldn’t stand people making their own judgment calls and believed himself to be a jack-of-all-trades. He didn’t need to learn how to keep people dependent on you. But this was mindset which made many generals, including the legendary Desert Fox, despise him. He knew little reason and didn’t listen to valuable advice, which is one of the main reasons, why Germany lost the war.

 

Don’t think that people will love you, for being dependent on you. The opposite is the case. Often they will fear you. But this should be of no concern to the Modern Prince.

 

“Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved”  – Niccolò Machiavelli

 

In Love

Narcissists and Psychopaths are masters at making themselves a vital part of another person’s life. Read the example I gave about the Narcopath who made himself an indispensable source of passion and emotion.

Even if you are not a Narcopath, you must ensure that your partner depends on you. That you play a vital role in their life. Be it emotionally, intellectually or financially or even spiritually. You need to learn to keep people dependent on you, if you don’t feel like finding new love or business prospects every second week. This might sound like a narcissistic/psychopathic technique, but it is time to face the truth. If you make yourself indispensable to your environment, it can not be considered immoral, unless you have malicious intentions. It is better to be a valuable asset, than a heavy, useless stone that can be dropped any time.

 

Another Quote by Baltasar Graciàn to sum up the 11th Law of Power:

Make people depend on you. More is to be gained from such dependence than courtesy. He who has slaked his thirst, immediately turns his back on the well, no longer needing it. When dependence disappears, so does civility and decency, and then respect. The first lesson which experience should teach you is to KEEP HOPE ALIVE BUT NEVER SATISFIED, keeping even a royal patron ever in need of you -Baltasar Gracian

 

 

Most Important Learnings

 

  • Isolate people to make them dependent on you
  • Keep hope alive but never satisfied
  • If people lose their dependency, their respect will soon follow
  • It is much easier to make the weak depend on you, instead of the strong
  • Evoke emotions in people they only feel when around you
  • Just like a magician, never reveal your tricks
  • Uncover their needs, secrets, and weaknesses to become indispensable to them

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of Law #11 – Learn to keep People dependent on you. If you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so.

Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it.

 

If you want to read more summaries, go to the main 48 Laws of Power post and choose your favoured law. If you are looking for book suggestions, find out what Machiavelli would have read.

Go ahead and share it with your friends & on social media. Until next time, fellow Machiavellians.

 

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[…] Lear to keep people depend on you, yes, but do not become the person who does his job so great that he cannot be promoted without a significant hit to the department’s productivity. […]

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[…] & Conquer. Alienate people to make them depend on you or to weaken the enemy from […]

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