An excellent book, combining Machiavelli’s teachings with the knowledge of eastern cultures, creating a true masterpiece, a recipe book for power, in the process. Full of timeless quotes, wherever you lay your eyes upon. If you have yet to read it, I suggest you get your hands on it and absorb the knowledge. You can find it here. Written by Ralph Gun Hoy Siu.
A comprehensive guide to gaining, maintaining, and expanding personal power.
Presents basic techniques for the management of people and organizations. Guidelines are presented in a how-to” fashion, illustrated by real-life examples. Evaluates power posture, then spells out operational specifics. Defines power and the social setting in which power is exercised. Explains fifteen ways of measuring one’s competitive strength. Deals with techniques for harnessing people and money in the drive for power.
Props to Warped_Mindless
The Craft of Power Summary Part #1
You can listen to the article read by a sexy British robotic voice here:
Nature of Power
- Power is the intentional influence over a person’s beliefs, emotions, and behaviors.
- Power predates humans. There have always been the leaders, and those who were led.
- It’s impossible for everyone to have the same amount of power. Someone will always rise to the top.
- Power comes in many forms. The general with an army, a woman with her seductive looks, a boss who dangles the promise of a raise or promotion in front of his employees.
- The desire to have power is a very strong one.
- Sheep will almost always be tricked into giving up more and more of their power.
Executives and Persons of Power
- Anyone with a modicum of energy, concern for others, or a drive to accomplish anything, exercises power of one kind or another.
- To the person of power, retention of control is the highest priority.
- Being at least decent at your assigned duties is often necessary to advance ahead and gather more power.
- Rarely has a successful act of power been found in a swamp of excuses and justifications.
- The urge for even greater power has and will always be well lubricated with natural and good intentions.
- All that is needed to stop you dead in your tracks on your rise to power is a single chink in a vital area.
- The more power you wish to amass,highly disciplined and self-controlled in the ways of power you must be.
- A person of power does not confine himself to an institution where a rise to power is nearly impossible.
- The difference between victory and defeat is often just an inch.
- Stay focused on the task needed to get done to accomplish your rise to power. Never let yourself become distracted.
- Learn from mistake and setbacks. Preferably from others. Be resilient.
- A person of power does not pass the buck, trying to evade responsibility. Except when it’s a calculated power play and serves your interests of course.
Skepticism and Vigilance
- Be skeptical of everything and everybody at all times to a calibrated degree, no matter the circumstances. Trust if you have to, but verify everything.
- Even the smartest of people have been fooled and out-witted. Never underestimate anyone; he might be playing a sucker to catch a sucker.
- Loyalty is fickle. Those who are loyal now may not be later.
- Always be skeptical but never cynical. Keep a balance.
The Big Game
- The current state of our modern times has amplified the amount of attempted power seizures.
- There is no such thing as a power vacuum where you can simply walk in take over.
- Success in one area will often lead to success in other areas. The same goes with power.
- “No matter how much talent you may have, or how great your fame may be, or how impressive your potential power might be, do not wait too long for the powers-to-be to beckon. After a discreetly short wait, you must push yourself forward with determination, although not without the grace appropriate to the circumstances.
- If there are no vacancies or opportunities available, then do what you have to in order to create your own.
- Every king needs to be crowned, locate the kingmakers and gain their favor. Find out who can help you obtain the power you want and ally with them.
- Do not piss off the wrong person, know what & who can slow your ascent to power. Never fight a battle if you gain nothing by winning.
- Either by chance or design, you need to showcase and reinforce a positive reputation.
- Be careful when trying to impress the kingmakers. You do not want to come off as try-hard, phony, or transparent.
- Know what qualities the kingmakers are looking for in a person. Know your strengths.
- In all your encounters with your superiors never for a moment think you are fully aware of every potential plot going on around you.
- Know yourself and don’t overestimate your abilities.
- Try not to fight wars on multiple fronts. It’s exhausting.
- Thoroughly confuse your enemies with cunning and trickery before using more direct attacks.
- Realize that your enemies may well use illicit means against you. Always keep an eye open.
- Cover your tracks well and do not get caught. Tabula Rasa if it has to be.
Legal Porosity and Elasticity
- There are three ways of escaping the pincers of the law:
- The first way is “the blindfold” where you are friends with those who can come after you or you are important to them (such as contributing to their campaign). Get the people with the power of the law behind them on your side. The mafia is very good at doing this.
- The second way is by placating the law. This is often done by taking cases to a court where the judge is less strict or more sympathetic towards you.
- The third way is out-dancing the law. Always be at least half step ahead of the law. For example, corporations will often move money around to avoid taxes, abusing loopholes in the law.
- One man’s gain often rest on another man’s pain.
- Sometimes in order to get what you want, other people have to suffer. Such is the way of life.
Adapt, Improvise, Overcome
- Tell people what they want to hear.
- Make sure that you and your allies work towards a mutual goal.
- Tailor your actions after cultural & community traditions.
- Never change too much at once. Do it gradually and in small steps.
- Tailor your behavior and actions to the situation and act accordingly. Law #48 Assume formlessness.
The Craft of Power Review
- No major power can be possibly sustained over a long period of time without an array of myths (reputation) to reinforce it.
- Give people something to believe in and tie those beliefs to your cause.
- To be most effective the myths must be ingeniously framed, implanted, nurtured over long periods, and revered as elements of obvious truths and hard facts.
- They must be adapted to the disposition of the followers, to the state of their maturity and their passions, hopes, and fears. They should directly provide moral justification and the potential to rationalize guilt away.
- Example: The Aztecs needed more warriors to join their ranks, so they told their people the myth that dying in battle is the only way to go to Valhalla.
- Once you have found a myth that suits your purpose, you should stick with it and let it grow for a considerable amount of time.
- Economy of efforts equals the results from optimizing efficiency.
- Change efficiency: Magnitude of change affecting those essential to your objectives. The forces at your command should not be allowed to become undisciplined and as a consequence try to enforce change. At best, this entails a waste of resources or worse, they sow the seeds of destruction from within,
- Only the fool exercises uncalled, excessive power over others, with the sole motive of feeling powerful.
- Gaining control of an institution without agitation is far better than leaving a trail of harsh feelings and divided management. It is always preferable to take a country as a whole, intact, instead of burning it to the ground, according to Sun Tzu.
- Executing a smooth coup d’etat is far more desirable than a bloody revolution.
- The second efficiency is resource efficiency: the number of resources you actually need, compared to your estimated resource requirements.
- Save resources by knowing your objectives, having better intelligence, more fitting strategy and tactics, fewer emotional expeditions into irrelevant paths of glory, and greater managerial skill.
- Command efficiency: how fast and well your subordinates react to your directions/commands.
- Keep your long term goals in mind but don’t let the effort needed to get there overwhelm you to the point where you have no energy to accomplish the smaller goals needed to get to the long term goal.
- The longer it takes to accomplish a goal the less enthusiastic your supporters will become.
- To keep your supporters interested, take your large long term goal and chunk it up into smaller parts, that way it provides your supporters with many mini-victories which keeps them enthused.
- After each goal is completed, review it, think about possible improvements and then adjust your course of action to reach your next goal.
- As you move up, into the big leagues of power, you must resist the temptation to panic, but remain calm, and don’t acting foolishly.
- Every organization will go through times of ups and downs, of turmoil and chaos.
- During the chaotic times, persons of inferior talent/intellect/skill should seek to move into a position of power and amass as much wealth and positive reputation as possible and then move on before their lack of skill is exposed.
- The strong and Machiavellian can use the chaotic times to gather more power and further their wealth and reputation and continue to rise to greatness.
- Often times power comes with little “price tags.”
- As you rise through the ranks of power, you will encounter continually stronger opponents. And believe me, everyone is willing to play dirty after a certain level. You must decide if you are willing to get down in the gutter with them.
Treatment of the Plebs
- Your allies that can help leverage you into power, as well as being able to stab you in the back.
- Who your allies choose to help depends on your ongoing relationship with them. Make yourself indispensable to them.
- Without coming across as a scared kiss-ass, you should strive to make your allies life easier. Praise them and their accomplishments. Treat them with respect so they don’t feel the need to betray you. Even then, never trust anyone.
- Secretly gather intelligence on both allies and enemies, in case they ever decide to move against you. Take caution, however, that you are not exposed while digging in the dirty laundry. Always conceal your intentions.
- Trust but verify. Have spies approach your allies, pretending to be working for the enemy, and offer them to collaborate. If they do then you know they can’t be trusted.
- Though your allies should respect you, they should also know in the back of their minds what happens to those who betray you. Fear is a probate life insurance.
- Your former allies, no matter if they quit on their own terms or you get rid of them, are likely to backstab you if the opportunity is right.
- Do not think that man will remain loyal forever. As soon as you stop being a benefactor to them, they will try trump you, while rationalizing that they deserve it. Leverage those people into a position of power, where they pose no threat to you
- Give second chances and don’t punish draconic at every opportunity. Keep your emotions in check.
- However, if a person is found conspiring against you, you must make an example out of him.
- Your Second in Command, the person closest to your seat of power, always poses the greatest risk to you. Even if he doesn’t intend to conspire against you, he could be used as a pawn against you by your enemies.
- There are a couple ways to reduce this threat. The first is to decentralize the Second in Command’s power to a team of six or more people so that the power is not concentrated. Instead of having a second in command, keep a council. Keep an eye on all members and make sure they stay loyal.
- Always keep powerful allies that can catapult you back into power, should anyone try to usurp you.
- Three requirements must be met in order for your supporters to remain your supporters.
- First, they must feel that you are one of them or at the very least that your heart is with them and that you understand them. Dress alike, act alike, speak alike.
- Secondly, they must remain satisfied with the benefits you provide them with.
- Thirdly, no more than a handful of people must hate you at a time. Make people fear you, instead of hate you.
This was The Craft of Power Summary of the Maxims Part. Now a few selected Quotes from the book, all made by RGH Siu, follow.
The Craft of Power Quotes
Power is neither created nor destroyed. It is only transformed or transferred.
People, Money, and Symbols are the basic Resources of Power
People are to be used like Fuel in the Furnace of Power
Let not the wailing and groaning of the innocent weaken your will to win
Too bad “can’t be helped’
No longer think about the struggle between Good & Evil, but of the conflicts of interests and interests
Be quick in masking yourself, and unmasking others
Negotiation is a simultanious Excercise in Intelligence, Bargaining, Politics, Propaganda, and Planning
This concludes the best Craft of Power Quotes and here ends the Craft of Power Summary Part #1. Stay tuned for part #2 & #3. I hope you could learn something valuable and I highly recommend you to get the book and acquire the full wisdom. Trust me, it is worth it. You can find it here.
I salute you,
Lionel Fox Machiavelli