Welcome my magnificent reader, this post analyzes the Law “Make other People come to you, use Bait if necessary”. What follows is an in-depth summary with approximately 2300 words
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards.
Contents of the 8th Summary of the 48 Laws of Power
Part 1: Video Summary
Part 2: Real Life Applications
Part 3: Negative Example
Part 4: Spirit of the Law
Part 5: Most Important Learnings
Examples & Applications
French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand decided to plot against his former master, after Napoleon Bonaparte was sent to exile on the Italian island called Elba. A location in close proximity of the heart of Europe, so Napoleon’s shadow still lingered over the whole continent. The masses still loved him, even after his defeat, and he was a disturbance to many influential people. They wanted to see him either dead or exiled to a far away country.
Talleyrand and his associates decided that the best course of action would be to enable Napoleon to take a seat on the throne once more. in In a dazzling operation, they helped Napoleon escape the island in broad daylight.
Napoleon did lead a comfortable life on Elba, but the lack of power anguished him. His lust for power was so big, that he did not see Talleyrand’s plan for what it was. He didn’t realize that France was an economic mess, unable to sustain another war.
When he arrived in France, Napoleon gathered a small army and marched on Paris. Many soldiers joined the ranks of their former general and the city welcomed him with praise. Still having the support of the masses, he crowned himself emperor; picking up the war where he left. His position, this time, was different. Desolate, and led not only to his personal Waterloo, but he also was defeated at the actual battle of Waterloo. Now, he was not sent to an idyllic 5 star holiday on beautiful Elba. His enemies exiled him to a desolate island called St. Helena in Africa. So far, that his grip could not reach Europe and he no longer posed a threat.
Where did Napoleon go wrong? He became arrogant, power hungry, put his emotions before reason, believing that he could win unwinnable wars. Reasons that lead to his defeat and exile.
During the now legendary game between France and Italy during the Worldcup 2016 Final, a monumental scene unfolded. The two men who each scored one goal for their nation (7′ Zidane and 19′ Materazzi) clashed.
Marco Materazzi, sneaky and Machiavellian as he was, pulled on Zidane’s shirt, and prompted a response by the Golden Ball winner. Zidane said: „If you want my shirt, I can give it to you afterward“.
To which Materazzi replied ‘No, I don’t want your shirt, I prefer the shirt of your sister, you son of a terrorist whore“.
Despite not being a particularly nice thing to say, it made an excellent bait that drove Zidane to give him a headbutt, resulting in a red card.
With Zidane gone the French team was demoralized and Italy beat the leaderless 10-man squad in the penalty shootout.
During an interview about the incidence, Zidane stated:
Yes, it is never good to take a bait and end up in a trap. If, during stressful situations, you have no control over your emotions, you are going to end up losing the World Cup title.
Link to the story: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2010/mar/01/zinedine-zidane-marco-materazzi-headbutt
World War 1, Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron – because of his red plane and royal bloodline – was the most successful fighter pilot in the German airforce. He possessed intuition, lightning fast reflexes and could maneuver his plane like nobody else. This much is known. What is rather unknown is that despite being an excellent pilot, he was an excellent tactician, leader, instructor & tinker as well. He even advised in the creation of the Fokker plane. A new project with the goal to eliminate weaknesses of the current design. All that while being in his early to mid-twenties. A true genius, a man after my own heart.
Manfred von Richthofen had an aerial killstreak of 80 confirmed kills, a feat unmatched by his enemies. His strongest contender was a Canadian, boasting 72 air victories. His advantage of 8 kills was not impressive, but he trumped his adversaries by a huge margin, if we take his battle tactics into account.
Von Richthofen flew the only shiny red plane and his reputation was legendary. Despite not being certain, I do believe that the Allied instructors briefed their pilots on the tactics he used, but it did them no good. His plan unfolded every time. The British crown had also put a huge bounty on his head, clouding the minds of the British pilots who were confronted with him.
His tactic made perfect use of this Law to bait people to come to him. He flew below his squad, baiting the enemies to attack him. A red plane, a legendary pilot, a huge bounty on his head, the lowest flying and first plane. All these things let the well-trained Allied pilots forget their training and take the bait Richthofen offered them. When they did, his squad would descend down on them and annihilate the attackers.
Ironically, this law lead not only to him becoming the most valuable asset in the aerial combat, but also to his death. A head injury he sustained during a battle, was said to have changed his temper to the worse. The injury maimed his use as a fighter pilot. But the great pilot he was, he refused an offer to stop flying and start instructing. Flying was his life and he would give his life for it.
During his last battle, he succumbed to rage and took the bait in form of an enemy plane, trying to escape into hostile territory. He didn’t pay attention to his surrounding, flew too close to the ground, and this is where an anti-air gunner shot him.
Real Life Application
Donald Trump has built himself an impressive office in his Trump Tower. Whenever a journalist inquires an interview, Trump invites him into the den of the lion; his own playground.
As soon as he is the president, the Oval office in the Air Force one will be similar. A place to discuss business, where his counterparts are always kept on their toes.
Megyn Kelly & others tried to bait him into the Fox News Republican Debate in Cleveland. He knew that the debate would be biased and the cards not stacked in his favor. The host treated him without respect and unfairly, accusing him of sexism. Just a reminder, Megyn Kelly posed in questionable positions for the Playboy. Hypocrite.
He smelled the trap and declined the invitation. Despite not even showing up, he was repeatedly attacked by his opponents and dominated the beginning of the debate. Neither his reputation nor his polls suffered from not attending. A risky move that ultimately worked out in his favour.
Dumbo Pretendiavelli found himself in an advantageous position, but waited too long for the perfect moment. Instead of acting boldly and seizing the moment, he laid out a sneaky trap with an appealing bait. But his opponent didn’t take the bait in time, which resulted in Dumbo losing the initiative and favoured position. Without the element of surprise, Dumbo Pretendiavelli perished at the hands of his foe.
After his defeat, he needed to rebuild his little empire. Abandoning all rational thought, he got lured by a get rich quick scheme, in which he gladly bought into.
He made his own tactic of baiting obsolete, by not seizing his opportunities. He subsequentially fell victim to the promises of a quick fix for all his problems. Now he has lost everything and won’t ever be able to recover.
Don’t fall victim to quick success promises. Power is about long term results, despise the free lunch.
Spirit of Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
Make other people act & React, seek to anger them
If you are asked for help, make sure to make them do a small deed for you. Don’t bend over and willingly do all the work, fix every problem with your own resources (this includes times). A technique working like a charm for holding people accountable for their actions. Example if you lend money to someone, have them sign an agreement to pay you back. Make them help you out on a continual basis or make them gather required information. Think of something that forces them to invest a little of their own. If you act, you need to make sure that they react, otherwise you will be taken advantage off.
To find out about their secrets and weaknesses, you have two options. Either you do the work yourself, ask around, do your research or have spies reporting on him. Or you bait him into revealing his needs.
To do the later, you want to get him emotionally invested. Take for example a sales situation. One of the better tactics is to ask your prospect if he has had problems in the past with your competitor or some situation/product. Expand on that and dig deep. Ask him what happened, asked him about the consequences for him and his company. Make him paint the picture all over again in his head. Then show him, that he will be free of these negative emotions and disasters if he buys your products/service. If executed in the right way, the price will play a minor role and you will be able to charge more.
Bait people into your frame/territory
Bait people into your reality. Impose your frame upon them. Don’t let them draw you into their frame & reality and make you go out of your way to accommodate them.
You need a proper bait, see Law 13 appeal to self-interest. Offer them an initiative to take the action you want them to. Think about what constitutes the perfect bait. Properly analyze their motivations, needs and weaknesses.
Scarcity makes for a great bait, hence you should abide Law 16, use absence to increase respect & honor. Other great baits are appealing to the fear of pain & loss or greed.
Subtlety and deception play a key role in most laws of power, including this one. You want to bait your opponent to come to you, while still maintaining the illusion that he is in control. That has a free will and planned his next step carefully, while actually being a puppet of yours. First you need to know what constitutes the perfect bait. Analyze his strength & weaknesses, his needs & fears.
The application of this law is often found among various shady corners on the internet. Called Linkbaiting. Fancy headline, no useful content. This would be a small scale application, but could be also used to bait the bigger players. Get journalists, media, customers, influencer etc. come to you and get them to buy your products and promote your brand, by luring them with fancy appearances, promises and well-made promotional campaigns.
An enemy lured into hostile territory will become demoralized and prone to mistakes. If you force him to act or lose his temper, you will find yourself in an advantageous situation.
“Good warriors make others come to them, and do not go to others. This is the principle of emptiness and fullness of others and self. When you induce opponents to come to you, then their force is always empty; as long as you do not go to them, your force is always full. Attacking emptiness with fullness is like throwing stones on eggs.“
Zhang Yu, commentator on The Art of War
Feed them false information
One of the finest wisdoms in The Art of War by Sun Tzu states:
Appear weak when you are strong and appear strong when you are weak.
This is one of Sun Tzu’s credos and works in our modern world just as well as in ancient China.
It is of utmost importance to artfully feed the enemy false information. Dangle a juicy carrot in front of their heads. An example would be the weaker Japanese army destroying the Russian fleet during the Russo-Japanese war in 1904. They fed the Russians false information, who then took the bait, believing it would offer them a huge advantage. When they found out that they were tricked and outmaneuvered by the Japanese, it was too late and their navy perished.
Appear disinterested when you are interested. People will withhold information from you, if they believe that it benefits you. If you seem disinterested, they are going to bombard you with it.
Don’t fall victim to games yourself
Know that your adversaries will use the technique of rocking your emotional state, baiting you into emotionally investing or angering you. Evoking the fear of pain or loss, merely to advance their own agenda. Realize this and stop yourself from getting taken advantage of.
Control your emotional state and you will become immune to people baiting or taunting you. Do not lose your temper or show hesitation, fear or other weak emotions, and people will start to believe that you come from a superior position.
This is the reversal of Law 31, get others to play with the cards you deal.
Don’t accept unfavourable conditions. Ever. Example if you go on a new date, and she wants to bring another friend with her. Decline.
Sometimes you have to choose the lesser evil, but you need to carefully analyze if your enemy hasn’t crafted a plan where you lose, no matter what course of action you take.
Real Power is the degree to which a person has control over their own circumstances. Real Power is the degree to which we control the directions of our lives. – Rollo Tomassi
Most Important Learnings
- Never submit to rage and get lured into your opponent’s frame. Reverse it.
- Make your enemy dig his own grave and thank you for it
- Feed the enemy false information, appear weak when you are strong.
- Control your emotional state and you will become immune to people baiting or taunting you
- Bait subtly, don’t reveal your intentions
- Power is about long term results, despise the toxic free lunch
I hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law and 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.
Go ahead and share it with your friends & on social media. Until next time, fellow Machiavellians.