The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Sunday, April 21, 2013

The 48 Laws of Power: #6, Court Attention at All Costs

One of my favorite books on strategy is The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers.  Where The Art of War, by Sun Tzu is written as an overview of the whole topic of strategy, seeking to provide an overall understanding of the subject; and The 36 Strategies tries to impart the knack of strategic thinking through 36 maxims related to well known Chinese folk stories, Mr. Greene focuses on how we influence and manipulate one another, ie "power".

Mr. Greene draws from both Eastern and Western history and literature as his source material. Sun Tzu and Machiavelli as cited as much as wonderful stories of famous con men. Among my favorites is about a scrap metal dealer thinking he bought the Eiffel Tower.

Each of the 48 Laws carries many examples, along with counter examples where it is appropriate that they be noted, and even reversals.

It is a very thorough study of the subject and the hardback version is beautifully produced.

Law #6 is: Court Attention at All Costs.

If no one notices your work, you'll be passed over. Simply by being visible to those above you, will increase your opportunities for advancement. You're somebody, not one of the nameless toiling masses.

I remember a former co worker whom we nicknamed "Magic." I can't remember his actually having done anything, except whenever something notable occurred, he seemed to materialize just before the managers showed up. Not by doing anything, but by being present, he associated himself with the good work being done by management and got more that his just share of rewards.

The downside is clear enough. If you are always visible, when something goes wrong you may be pinned with the blame.

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