1. Exaggerate your origins as a deprived/abused child to mythic proportions. Your "specialness" makes you entitled to break the rules and abuse others without accountability.

2. Praise the performance of your assistants, but consistently downgrade the description of their actual contributions, e.g., if they expertly rewrote your entire book manuscript, thank them in the preface for "careful proofreading."

3. If you hire an expert consultant, don't give anything but good feedback until right before the project is completed. That way you can save that final payment!

4. Embarrass assistants by bringing up your private disagreements in public settings where effective rebuttal would be difficult for them. Especially if questionable practices are involved, this can force all the others present into colluding in an illusion of supportive unanimity. Repeat in other settings.

5. Make your own schedule inviolate. This will educate your staff and family that your needs always come first, even in their emergencies.

6. Speak to all who will listen in intimate detail about the proclivities and shortcomings of previous assistants, spouses, or significant others. This will teach people currently in these roles to anticipate similar treatment in their future.

7. Occasionally drop hints that you can ruin reputations on a whim. These hints should be subliminally perceptible to the target person, too subtle to be perceived by outsiders, and too ambiguous to be confronted directly.

8. Construct an overwhelmingly admirable public persona that makes up for your own personal reality. Do the opposite in private of what you espouse in public.

9. Tell small and big lies to stay in practice. That way, when those close to you find you out on a big one, perhaps the lie that leads to termination, they will doubt anything you have ever told them, whether you ever were who you presented yourself to be, and –- most importantly -– themselves.





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. Tom Marks on March 18, 2010 10:40 am

    Some constants some find about the Sir Edmund Hillary's of the organizational world is that their deniability is always plausible, their episodic obtuseness always feigned, and their exclusionary self-interest always their North Star.

  2. Nick Pribus on March 19, 2010 12:54 pm

    It seems too excessively cynical. In fact, each item seems to be the antithesis of success, and there is nothing on the list I aspire to be.

    As to lists, I have taken council of General Colin Powell’s “rules to live by” and I beleve he was successful:

    1. It is not as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
    2. Get mad, then get over it.
    3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
    4. It can be done.
    5. Be careful what you chose. You may get it.
    6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
    7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
    8. Check the small things.
    9. Share credit.
    10. Remain calm. Be kind.
    ll. Have a vision. Be demanding.
    12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
    13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.


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