“Power lacks moral or principles. It only has interests.”
-Horacio Castellanos Moya
How did you feel the last time you were around an extremely powerful person?
Did you feel intimidated? Or did you feel excited being in the presence of someone who held such power?
Did you try to learn from him, or did you try to make yourself small in the room so as not to catch his attention, whether good or bad?
Powerful people can change your life, whether it’s for a positive change or negative can depend on whether they like you or not, but how does a man in demand learn to navigate the social circle of powerful people while maintaining his integrity? This article will break down how to deal with powerful people from the opinion of caution and playing it smart. I have more articles outlined dealing with mentorship and power, because both topics are close to me, fascinating and they will be helpful to you.
Before I jump into this article, I want to say a big Thank You to all of you gentlemen who signed up for A Man In Demand Academy last week and this past weekend. I am truly blown away and appreciate your enthusiasm. I’ve already received multiple success emails from students who have dove in with faith and action into the course and I couldn’t be more proud of you gents. For those of you who have not joined, General Enrollment is now open through this Thursday March 12th at 11:59pm (PST) after which enrollment is closed to the public. Alright, I know some of you are cursing my extensive marketing the past few days, but thanks for bearing with me. With free comes some marketing. Moving on.
Power can corrupt, but power can also be used for good. The reality of power is that those who seek great power usually find out that they have to make compromises and their moral code tends to get shifted closer to the line until they are over it. Such is the nature of power. Once you have a taste you want more and more, until it becomes difficult to put on the brakes and take a look around. For those in extreme power, such as high political office, I cannot speak for that feeling, for I have not experienced it. I believe one would have to actually hold that power in their hands in order to know the exact feeling. It’s like trying to tell a threesome story to a gent who might be a virgin. No matter how much detail you give, they will not be able to understand the feeling until they go out and have a threesome.
In my short 30 years on earth I’ve been fortunate enough to rub shoulders with some powerful people, ranging from senators and high ranking politicians, to Fortune 100 CEOs, to actual crime figures who use power on a different level. Some were through mutual friends and the relationship was kept at an acquaintance level and some became actual friends and mentors to me. Some of the relationships fizzled out and played their course, some blew up in flames due to me being used, and yet, some I am still in contact with. Through all of these experiences I learned a few things that I would like to share with you. These will help keep you sharp and on your toes when dealing with powerful people, because you don’t know what you don’t know.
#4. What Is Their Angle?
Sure, some older cats may see potential in you and want to offer their advice and expertise, but take some time to analyze the situation when a mentor offers to help you.
What is his angle?
Does he benefit at all from helping you?
Is he actually using you to get close to someone in your circle?
Is he gay and he has more than a professional interest in you? Yes, I said it, because it can happen.
Some older cats will dangle the carrot so to speak, but they have ulterior motives. Consider the source.
When you’re young and not experienced in the ways of the world, its easy to be blind to what’s really going on, but I want you to open your eyes and look at situations and people objectively. Don’t get caught up in what they can do for you, because you will go in blind and that’s when you can get stabbed in the back, or caught by surprise.
Lastly, if I’ve learned one thing from powerful people, it’s this: they consider every angle and then what the angle is on every angle. Ponder on that for a minute.
#3. Why Me?
When a powerful person takes a special interest in you, consider this question: Why Me?
Now of course you have value and you are going places, but I want you to be objective about yourself. What makes you so special that this powerful person wants to help you. Is it because you are driven? Is it because you are hard working? Is it because you have a rare talent in a specific field? Is it because you approached him and wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer?
I’m not telling you to ask yourself “Why Me?” to instill doubt in yourself, instead I’m asking you to ask to ask yourself this question because the powerful person will ask you that exact same question. “Why should I hire you?” “Why should I mentor you?” “Why are you so special that I should take the time to help you?”
Know the answer because the question is coming.
#2. Be Cautious Of Quick And Abundant Affection
In all my years of dealing with people, there has been one ‘rule’ that has played out exactly the same every single time.
When someone lavishes attention on you from the jump, be cautious. As quickly as it doth cometh, it is yanked away.
This is not just for dealing with mentors and powerful people either. It can play into friendships and relationships with women. The quicker they fall for you, the quicker they fall out of ‘love’. Tread carefully, have your guard up and remember, some people are simply crazy. They might be highly functioning people who are successful on the outside to the rest of the world, but inside they may have a screw loose.
If a person in power starts treating you like his best friend from the moment you meet him, invites you everywhere, and lavish’s attention on you, feel free to go along with it, but don’t get caught up in it and be cautious.
Here are 2 questions to ask yourself which will keep you in check and help you figure out if it’s real or not:
1. How long has his social circle been around him? If he has new people coming and going non-stop and you don’t see a friend of his he’s known past a few months, or a year, then he probably circulates people into his life who he uses and then discards.
2. How long will this last? Time will always prove this to be true or not. If he becomes your mentor, or offers his power to help you get ahead and he means it and sticks with it and down the road you still have a good relationship with him, then perhaps you two did hit it off from the jump and that’s great. But be smart, plan your future and don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversify your mentors, relationships and as well know, your women of course.
#1. Be Wary Of Using Your Energy To Create His Vision
Usually, your mentor will be someone who is older than you. When I was 20, I had mentors ranging from 28 to men in their 60’s. There will be a range, however, I have to tell you of the most important aspect of dealing with powerful people: getting used.
It’s no secret that many men get power through using people as pawns to position themselves in a place of power and we see examples daily in politics, but it also happens right in front of your eyes and you might not realize it.
There is a difference between being a great leader and being a manipulative leader. A true leader will provide direction to complete the vision that he has and what he knows is best for the people. A manipulative leader will manipulate people into completing HIS vision with no regard for what is best for them.
This has happened to me and I don’t want it to happen to you.
I used to be a pretty trusting guy. I would from the jump just trust someone, be eager to be friends and eagerly jump into business deals and projects. That was years ago and I learned my lesson when I got burned not once, but twice. In both situations I was used to help complete the powerful person’s vision, but when the dust settled, I was left holding, well, just dust. It was devastating at the time, but in hindsight this could have been avoided, if I would have simply refused to build someone else’s vision when I KNEW deep down inside it wasn’t mine.
Protect your vision and while you can help someone with their vision and learn at the same time, be cautious of becoming a cog on the wheel serving the master and using your youthful energy up.
In closing, protect yourself, consider the angles (even the angles of the angles), be objective about why the powerful person has taken interest in you, be wary of immediate affection (but don’t be scared, just be smart), protect your vision and you’ll be just fine. I would have loved for someone to write an article like this when I was 20, but they didn’t. I’m writing this for you. Heed the advice and I wish you the best when you deal with finding mentors and powerful people to help your vision come true.
If you liked this article and want more on this topic, leave a comment. I barely scratched the surface on it.
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