Thursday, January 13, 2011

48 Laws of Power FRIDAYS! - Law 1

Law 1: Never outshine the master.

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite - inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

This law basically talks about humbling yourself in front of your boss. As I am getting older, I have come to find that to be correct. Especially with one boss in particular. I felt like he took enjoyment out of making his employers feel like we were beneath him. He took it upon himself to constantly let us know he was in charge, what he could afford versus what we could not. I must admit that for some of my co-workers it work, they did feel small. However I just took it as they were older and under educated compared to him.

I felt like I was different and I didn't come from a time where I put my tail between my legs. I had two co-workers who had a Lexus and a BMW who purposely DID NOT drive their car to work because they did not want the backlash from him. He had the nerve to ask one co-worker (when she finally decided to bring her car to work) how can you afford this car, plus all the coach bags you get AND an iPhone????? Huh???

It got to the point where if he saw that you where happy, he did things, work wise to show you who "really" was in charge. Another example is when he tried to stop one of his employees from taking her yearly trip to Brazil. MINE YOU THIS IS WHERE THE LADY IS FROM!!! They all tried to tell me that I should just suck it up and just do my job, but I couldn't. I should have learned when I saw two of the ladies that were great at their job, but he was very intimidated by them and their lifestyle, get fired. I did not learn. So guess what happened to me when he found out I was accepted into law school...... LAID OFF. Apparently it was because my position was being eliminated. I was laid off on a Friday and on that Monday we (I mean they) had a new employee with a management title, WITH MY JOB DESCRIPTION. However everything happens for a reason. I could go on and on about the things that he did, but who knows, someone from my old job could be reading this and ...... Let's just keep this to about books. LOL Nevertheless, that was the best thing he could have ever done was to lay me off.

Now I know better. Now I know that I need to find ways of stroking my boss' ego without feeling like I am selling out.

I use the example of my old boss because that is exactly what Greene talks about in Law 1. Even though certain people may have a high standing in the workplace (or life in general), they want to feel secure in that position and superior to those around them. So when someone comes around displaying their gifts and talents (even if they are natural ones), they are more than likely to replace you with someone less intelligent, attractive and threatening. Now personally, I find that stupid because being someone with a big head, I feel like I am the best and I only want individuals around me who are the best or capable of getting to their best. How can someone want to be the best in what they do, but only want mediocre people around them? For some reason I can not quite understand it. I understand the boss being jealous, but why don't you use that emotion as fuel to be your best.

Law One also wants you to down play your natural talents/assets and never image you can do anything you want to because of the good relationship you have with your boss.

Greene suggest ways to turn this law to your advantage.
One way is to flatter (discreetly of course) your boss. Make him feel like he/she is the intelligent and that all "your" ideas are "his/hers". Greene specifically states in the book, "By letting others outshine you, you remain in control, instead of being a victim of their insecurity."
Huh?? --- That's stupid! (Well at least to me)
Nevertheless.... If you have a boss that is a weakling, Mr. Greene wants you to show NO MERCY! Outdo , out charm and out smart him/her at EVERY key moments!!!
So what do you think about law one?


readinghaspurpose said...

So I don't think I like this law. The only thing I can do is be me. I think once you start to monitor every move you make based on what you think someone elses perception is, its time to change your surroundings.

I just heard Oprah say that Maya Angelou told her " These people cant hold a candle to the light God has shining on your face. Don't you know who you are? You are a child of God". LOVES IT

I will always let my light shine - as bright as it wants to. Because what God has for me is for me!

Notorious Spinks said...

I agree w/ RWP. However, I can see this law as well. I recently finished a service year w/ Americorps. During my two separate service years I was the go-to person if you needed something to happen. However, I started to feel like the supervisor didn't care for me. I felt like she called on me because she knew I would bring it but if she had another as good as me I would be out. So in December she had a supervisor position to come open. She told me she couldn't hire me because I didn't have my degree. Now mind you that I ONLY have one class left and a photography class at that. I got all the experience for the job in my two years there. I'm taking that last class this semester. I was like you don't trust me to finish one class but you trust me to oversee letters from clients to Congress, to meet Deputy Directors from the Obama Administration, and to represent the organization in a documentary but you don't trust I'll finish one class. Excuse my language but Boo.Bitch.Bye.
I hate when people lie flat out. Just be real.
But at the end of the day I will never down play my gifts to make other feel big. I just won't. I can't. I'm trying to get somewhere and God will see to me getting there.