An uncomfortable Law that makes us consider just who we are important to – and how precarious that can be as we struggle to become the power behind the throne. This is about the need to become indispensable… or at least to appear to be, making it the complementary piece to Law 1: here we learn how to be and remain The Master, but also how to remain essential to a Master without coming to outshine them. Along the way we hear how Dre managed to keep ahead of the game by diversifying his skillset before he became replaceable, while Jon failed at every turn to seed doubt in the minds of others or to defeat any bureaucrats at all. We also drop in on the bizarre world of Russian cloakrooms, dog-eating squirrels, and take time to consider the artificial, fast-food way we try to feel power over our lives by using social media, rather than cultivating meaningful relationships.
This Episode includes:
- How to make yourself indispensable, and the price you pay if you don’t
- The awesome power of coat-check attendants in Russia
- Ally yourself with someone weak who you can help make strong; don’t get lost in the crowd of the already-strong
- Find your niche, which will become your domain of power
- How modern, short-term thinking distracts you from the road to power: play the long (even the ‘infinite’) game if you want to succeed
- Does knowing other people’s secrets make you powerful, or more vulnerable?
- How to drop hints to make people worry that you have power over them
- The master of psych-outs: Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Why power only exists in relation to other people
- Becoming the power behind the power behind the throne, and the web of dependence involved
- The bizarre cult of ‘authenticity’
- Dre goes full Machiavelli and reveals his plans to predict all human behaviour
Mentioned in the Episode:
- Our favourite Bismarck T-Shirt!
- The famous painting of the declaration of the formation of Germany, featuring Bismarck as the central figure
- ‘Dropping the Pilot‘ – the cartoon satirising Wilhelm II’s dismissal of Bismarck – a decision that would have disastrous consequences
- Dre’s ‘best film ever’: Pumping Iron
- Some of Michael Schumacher’s most controversial moments in the pursuit of victory
- Russia’s terrifying killer squirrels
- The Russian dogs who know how to ride the Moscow Metro
- The book Jon mentioned: Finite and Infinite Games, by James Carse
- The picture of the Éminence grise Dre described
- Sir Thomas More – another ultimately dispensable figure in Henry VIII’s court
- Chris Ryan’s brilliant podcast, Tangentially Speaking, and his upcoming book, Civilized to Death
- Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy and the idea of Psychohistory
Join us as we continue our exploration of Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling study of The 48 Laws of Power, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.
Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).SUBSCRIBE on iTunes
Each of these original T-Shirts includes an elegantly presented quotation illustrating the Law.
Law 11: ‘Keep hope alive but never satisfied’ – Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658)