Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

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, July 18, 2021

The 48 Laws of Power, #37: Create Compelling Spectacles

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. 

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.

One of the things I admire about Greene is that he not only studied strategy, he applied what he learned to his own situation and prospered.

Today we have #37: Create Compelling Spectacles.

Shock and Awe is one aspect. A larger than life extravaganza. We're just sucked into it.  The flyovers, the fireworks. Think about product or movie premiers. 

There is just something about a huge event that is disarming, where we let our guard down and are open to the message that follows. The message takes on the size of the spectacle and itself becomes gigantic.

When you have an important message to deliver, you can make it even bigger by pulling out all of the stops.


MindOfJoe said...

I picked up this book and flipped through it once. "Do this. Here's why. Here's an example. Here's where it didn't work." On another page: "Do the opposite. Here's why. ..."

On another day, I read Stephen King's "On Writing."

What spectacle should we create to draw attention to a way of life where people are free from the effects of spectacle? P.T. Barnum showing us the egress? :-p

Thanks for the post, Rick.

Rick Matz said...

That strategy probably wouldn’t be the one you’d try to apply in this instance.