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Law 43, Maximize Your Allies

October 22, 2020


1) Preamble
2) Law 43 Addendums
3) Charm > Intimidation
4) Maintain The Pretense You Like Them
5) Grant Graciously, Decline Politely

1) Preamble:

What follows are some reflections on Law 43, “Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others”. Most of this wisdom will sound obvious, yet in real life you will notice that many fail to apply it particularly when there is cortisol rushing through their veins.

2) Law 43 Addendums:

In the long term it is in your best interest to have as many allies as possible and as few enemies as possible.

Never make enemies unnecessarily, and make allies as often as possible.

3) Charm > Intimidation

Use charm as often as possible, use intimidation as rarely as possible.

When you use charm you win an ally, regardless of whether or not you succeed in getting their immediate cooperation. When you use intimidation you get another enemy, regardless of whether or not you succeed in getting their immediate cooperation.

Always try charm before resorting to intimidation. If charm works, then you’ve won. If charm fails, then you must decide whether or not the matter at hand is worth the risk of gaining an additional enemy by using intimidation.

Starting with charm and then switching to intimidation can work very effectively; you can go from being charming to being terrifying in a nanosecond.

The reverse is not true; starting with intimidation, and then attempting to switch to charm, is ludicrous. Once you attempt to use intimidation, the target will inevitably dislike you; trying to charm them at that point is a lost cause.

Charm can be used effectively on both superiors and subordinates; on those who wield power over you, and those who you wield power over.

Intimidation can only be used on subordinates and equals, not superiors. If you attempt to use intimidation on a superior you are committing tactical suicide; they will be annoyed by you, and use whatever power they wield over you to wreck you.

Whether someone is a ‘superior’ or a ‘subordinate’ in terms of tactical consequences is not a matter of what official rank they hold, but rather how much power they wield over you minus how much power you wield over them.

4) Maintain The Pretense You Like Them

âIf you dislike a man, do your best to hide it. In ways you could not possibly foresee you may need his help, and you can hardly get it if he knows you dislike him.

On many occasions I needed the help of a man who I despised, and he believing that I liked him, or at least being unaware of the truth, served me readily.” -Francesco Guicciardini

A critical part of charm is this; maintain the pretense that you like every person you meet. If you dislike someone, hide it.

Never express a dislike of someone or anger towards someone, unless you have something to gain by doing so.

Stroking your ego or venting your anger does not qualify as ‘something to gain’.

5) Grant Graciously, Decline Politely

Whenever possible, do someone a favor. If someone asks you for a favor and it will cost you very little to oblige, then do so. In ways you cannot possibly foresee you may need a favor from them, and they’re unlikely to grant it if you previously denied a favor they requested.

Whenever you refuse to do a favor or you reject an offer of any kind, do so as gently and as politely as possible. Never reject an offer harshly or with an insult.

If you do someone a favor, but you do it grudgingly and with grumbling, they will not feel grateful; they will feel annoyed. As such, either grant the favor graciously or politely refuse.

Never grant a favor grudgingly, or refuse harshly.

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Post Information
Title Law 43, Maximize Your Allies
Author machiavellicorporate
Date October 22, 2020 12:00 AM UTC (3 years ago)
Blog Corporate Machiavelli
Archive Link
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