Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Move 26: Park It Anywhere

Parking is a problem for normal people, and as we've said over and over again: you're not one of the normal people, so act like it. This move is a cross between the Own-The-Road and a Car for All Occasions moves in that you need to have the right car and the right attitude. All the best designated parking places are aways already taken, and you shouldn't have to fight for those anyway.

The Park It Anywhere move is about making your own spot where no spot existed before, thus directly showing your power over the issues that vex the general public. The spot should be somewhere that does not make people think you are a jerk, like taking up two normal spots, the side of a handicap spot, or red zone in front of a fire hydrant. You don't want to piss people off, you just want them to see you do something that they can't or would never do. Good locations are large pedestrian squares, usually near a fountain or large sculpture, or any other venue where your Rolls Royce Ghost would look great during a photo-shoot for the cover of Automobile Quarterly.

You need the right car for this, as parking a beat-up Ford Fiesta on the lawn in front of The Club will not inspire any sort of head nodding. The response to this move should be a sense of awe, mixed with acceptance, and very little jealously. It's usually a good idea to make sure that the spot is on private property, so that if anyone dares question you, it will be handled by a manager who will quickly see the error of his ways. Double parking in busy downtown public thoroughfares is just a way to get the Police involved, and they are trained to believe that nobody is above the law -- don't waste your time or theirs; when out in a congested metropolis you shouldn't be driving anyway: your people drop you off, and roam around until it's time to come collect you and your purchases.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Move 25: Swear Like a Sailor

Dropping a few timely f-bombs, regardless of the audience, lets everyone within earshot that you really don't care what people think about you -- because you don't need to care about how other people think about you.

You should absolutely be able to carry on a civilized conversation using the Queen's proper English, but that isn't a Move -- everyone should be able to do that. The Move is to use timely profanity and completely inappropriate swear words and other language, especially in situations where such language would never occur to the normal public.  Weddings, funerals, interviews, negotiations, meetings, etc., are all great opportunities to throw down with some profanity that would make Captain Haddock blush.

For example, when meeting the CEO of GE for the first time, it would be a good idea to drop in a simple, "Are you planning to get this f*ucking stock out of the sh*tter some time before the sun engulfs the Earth in a big ball of fire?

There have been a number of psychological studies done about group norms, and the shock value when someone deviates from those norms. F*ck that; we're not trying to deviate for shock value -- we're making a Move to show that we're different and above the social norms of the group. In fact, we're not part of "the group", we're in our own realm reserved for the upper echelon of the power elite.  In a situation where there are lots of wealthy and powerful people, the person who swears first is silently acclaimed as the top dog. Think of they way Gordon Gekko talks in Wall Street.

Presidents swear, Five-Star Generals swear, CEOs swear, and you need to f*ucking swear too. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Move 24: Own a Plane, Own a Jet

There is seriously no better Move than to pull up to the private terminal at the airport, walk up the steps of the plane, and have it take off. Having a plane waiting for you is the ultimate move, and is one that even the office of President of the United States has learned and used well -- there is a reason for Air Force One, and that is convey the tremendous power and prestigee of the President. You need one of those too, and yes, it has to be a Jet capable of getting to far-flung international destinations in a timely manner.

It's important to remember that The Moves are all about the subtle and unpretentious signals that subliminally force people to realize your wealth and power.  Having a jet is borderline pretentious, so it absolutely only can come up in conversation if very subtle ways like, "I'll take the jet down to Houston tomorrow afternoon, and then meet you back here for dinner."  Never refer to your bird as "my private plane" or anything that would sound like bragging. If it does come up, make sure you complain about commercial travel, and the necessary evil of having to have a way around that mess.

Flying on regular commercial planes these days is a bit of a drag, as there is endless security, waiting around terminals, and certain other requirements designed to inconvenience you -- even with the Admiral's Club and First Class seating. Having you own jet eliminates all those time-wasting details required for normal people. And of course, the Pilot and attendant add to the numbers of Your People that are available to handle things for you wherever you happen to land.

If, God forbid, you can't afford your own plane, you might be able to get away with a shared lease, or other group arrangement. The downside is that the Jet really does need to be available at your beck and call at a moment's notice, so it's best to just have one and let people borrow it or lease it from you -- that puts you in the pilot's seat, so to speak, and gives you the "oh, you can take the jet there this weekend" loan move on top of that.

On top of this Move you can also add getting your pilot's license, and having an antique plane that you're restoring for the fun of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Move 23: Own a Yacht, but call it a Boat

Own a yacht; call it a boat. Above all make sure it's not "just" a boat, but more a somewhat understated luxury playground on the seas. Yachting has a been the sport of the rich, famous, and powerful for years, and yes... you need to be in the game. The Move is to have a very very nice Yacht that can be handled by a single person -- so get the biggest one you can get that you can take out by yourself with a business associate. This automatically reduces your associate to a crew member to be ordered around as you see fit -- a great tactic to get the upper-hand in negotiations of any kind.

A couple of notes on your yacht. It needs to be much faster than expected, have at least three full-sized bedrooms, and naming it important. It can not be named anything to do with money; names like "Greed is Good" were funny back in the 1980s, but the classic Move is to name it something subtle that only makes sense after you explain it to them. Beoaty is very funny, but questionable (say it again slowly, and you'll get  it -- B.O.A.T.).

It's important for this luxury cruiser to have all the latest technical amenities on board, such as the top of the line marine GPS and on-board satellite internet access. This includes a couple of wave-runners, voice radio equipped diving gear, and mobile phone hotspots so that you can enjoy yourself in a manner befitting someone who has mastered the oceans.

The ultimate Move on top of this Move is to have an even bigger yacht that requires a full-time captain and crew. You don't mention this up-front, but after you have played around on the "boat" for a while, it's nice to park next to the mother-ship and have a refined dinner followed by a dip in the pool while the crew services the little boat.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Move 22: The Hottest Gadget - The iPad

Technology is a tricky thing to keep up with, and having the means, money, and methods to obtain the latest technological wonder is a Move. There might be times when you end up with gadgets that didn't make the grade, and those can be handed out like candy the minute you move on to the next big thing.

In 2010, the Apple iPad is the Move. You want to have one of these, and you needed to be one of the first. There currently isn't a stronger move than using an iPad as your sole method of taking notes in meetings, giving a presentation, and watching movies on a plane. The day will come when you will have to move on to the next new thing, but enjoy your new toy and make sure that you have Your People load it up with all the latest bestselling books, newspapers, movies, and other items that most people aren't willing to pay for yet...

You will also need a nice leather case for your new top-of-the-line Apple iPad -- never scrimp and save when you are making a Move.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Move 21: Google Does Your Bidding

The first thing people do nowadays is to Google you. The subtle move that gets across your stature is to have the Google results be what you want them to be.

There are two different variations of this move. The first is to have exactly the right results show up, be them links to your Philanthropy Foundation, Nobel Prize Awards, Venture Capital Firm, or other appropriate sites. This means that you have to do a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) project on yourself, but it conveys the message that Google does your bidding.

The second variation is to have absolutely nothing come up. Zero results. Being un-Googleable is big-time. It stimulates the imagination and has an air of mystery. One easy way for this to happen is to have a different legal name than the one you are known as.

The net effect is that not only people see what you want them to see, they most certainly do not see the websites that would diminish you in any way. The end message is that you have control in places that normal people do not.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Move 20: Unexpected Generosity

People love to be surprised at unexpected generosity. It makes them feel great, and makes you look like a million bucks. In fact, giving things to people when they have had to ask for them takes this goodness away from you and makes people resent you -- they don't like to ask, and you can't win either way once they make a personal request.

The first step in this move is to attend all the parties, dinners, and other events that you are invited to and find a way to pick up a bill without anyone knowing about it. Once you've left for night, and the host is getting ready to settle up with the band, they find out that not only did you pay for the night's entertainment, but you also paid the catering crew. Likewise, this goes the same for restaurant owners, nightclub hostesses, bartenders, and most anyone who hasn't been paid yet.

If everything has been pre-paid, you can order additional services at your expense.

Your role will be divulged, even if you pretend to want it to be anonymous. In fact, it's best to say, "it's okay to tell the hostess, but please be discrete about this private gesture of my high esteem."

The very best version of this move is to make a habit of granting people's wishes that they didn't realize that they were making. At the same time make sure you don't take away their accomplishments; augment them.

For example, if they are buying their first home, let them do all the work and get everything sorted out, and then after they have signed the paperwork do something extraordinary: introduce them to an interior decorator who works with them to completely remodel the inside fixtures, furnishings, and finish. Once again, the trick is for them to expect a bill, and then never see one. That's the place where your legend gets built for you.

This is philanthropy and generosity at their best.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Move 19: Your Personal Shopper

And we are back to Your People again. You are much too busy and important to buy things for yourself, and you don't have the time to fly to Italy to get the latest new trendy things for yourself or for the people that you love.

You want a Personal Shopper who keeps you about three months ahead of the rest of the world; and once they catch up you can be "in" with them for a few weeks before you move on again. Leadership is about being ahead of the pack, and one way to convey that is through having and giving things that are right on the brink of the tipping point.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Move 18: A Car For All Occasions

Having the appropriate vehicle for the occasion is important. Like the old saying says, you don't bring a knife to a gunfight, and you don't bring a Maserati to the jungle rivers of deepest Africa.

What you drive depends on where you are going, and you have the right car in your garage all ready to head out. For example, if you were heading out to the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach you'd want to drive your 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster with the long tail built for movie mogul Jack Warner. You don't want something that everyone immediately knows, like the red Ferrari used on Magnum P.I., think more subtle "private club" that only the privileged know about, like the Volvo P1800 from The Saint.

A variation on this move is the "Sam Walton" wherein you drive your old beat-up pickup truck no matter what the occasion. Flipping the keys to the valet at the Ritz must be a hoot for Sam -- not that Sam would ever stay there. This would be the truest way to convey your immense power without putting on airs. Drive that BMW 2002 for the rest of your life, being true to your ideals and letting others know that you don't care what they think.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Move 17: Own The Road

You own the road. Drive it that way. What are they going to do? Fine you?

Driving a certain way, and you know what I mean, gets the point across that you are untouchable, more important, fearless, and a get-things-done kind of person. Stopping at "Red" lights is for the other guy. You didn't get where you are by following rules. If you are already doing 30mph over the speed limit what does it matter that you crossed a double double-yellow line to get into the carpool lane?

Waiting in a long line of cars is for other people, and speaking of other people: having your own driver is great. It's just that once in a while you want to take that Aston Martin Vanquish out for a real drive, either alone or with someone you want to impress.

Of course, the "at least it is a move if you do get pulled over" is to join your local state's and city's Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and donate heavily enough to be on the board of directors. Then have your board member's business card next to your driver's license in your wallet. An even better move is to have the Police Chief in your car at the time you are pulled over, and at the wheel.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Move 16: Have Successful Kids

This one is tricky. If you have kids, you need them to be very successful. Their success makes you look good. Talking about all the amazing things that they are achieving shows that they come from greatness: you.

Things your kids can do that would be considered successful would included graduating from, or currently attending, a prestigious University. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford are the old standby classics. It is a nice move to drop a college name that they DON'T know about so that when they look it up later they understand just how little they know: Harvey Mudd College, one of the Clairemont Colleges, is a great example of a highly selective private college.

Or your son or daughter could be traveling the world doing a film documentary on hunger for Bono.

Another possibility is that they are running their own venture capital business after getting their MBA from Brown, especially if it is hinted that it is a great foundation for running your own business when the time comes.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Move 15: Overtip and Carry $50's

This one is simple. A 15% or 20% tip is normal. Don't be normal.

The smallest bill denomination that you care about is the $20, and I'd suggest getting used to $50's -- they are the new $20's; $100's are just a little over-doing it and the idea of a good move is to get the point across without going overboard. Round things to the nearest bill, and then starting thinking about how good the service was. $20 minimum, period.

Tipping is something that "Your People" can't really do -- it doesn't come off as personal -- so therefore do it right.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Move 14: Vacation Homes in Great Places

There are some things that you need for multiple reasons. Great vacation homes are one of those necessary luxuries that bring with them a variety of moves:
  1. Spending a week at your own house in Hawaii is great fun for you.
  2. Telling people about the trip and vacation, and showing them pictures is a move.
  3. Letting people use "The Tahoe House" for a getaway weekend gets you good press.
  4. Bringing people out to the summer lodge on the lake for a meeting sets the right tone -- that you only use this house on occasion and it is twice as big as their "every-day" house.
Great places include Hawaii, Aspen, Lake Tahoe, The Hamptons (not anymore), London, Paris, and a take your pick of the small coastal cities on the French Rivera (Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a good one).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Move 13: Have Great Seats

It is important to get out and about; you always want the opportunity to drop things lightly into a conversation about, "you'll never guess who we ran into at the Derby last weekend."

The trick to this move is that you have to have great seats. Season tickets at all the local sports teams and theatrical venues is critical. You want to run into important people and you want them to see where you are sitting. Also, your own box comes with perks such as VIP parking, great service, and your own carved-out and familiar territory (you are the master of your domain).

Additionally, having your own box at the race track is a must. How much better is it to hand someone a couple of tickets to your personal box (with engraved nameplate) at the track, and then have them talk about it later to everyone they know.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Move 12: Go to TED

Going to the TED conference every year means something. Most people don't know what it means, and therefore that is why it is a move. The TED Conference is an annual conference that brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers. The majority of those attending have been extremely successful in some field or other, and TED wouldn't want it any other way.

Getting those TED Book Club boxes in the mail is a pretty subtle move that really gets people curious about what they're missing. And if they look into it, they are blown away. Yes, $6,000 a year in dues and a long waiting list makes the TED Conference the place to see and be seen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Move 11: The Right Watch At The Right Time

Wearing the right watch for any occasion is a smooth move. The Rolex is fairly overdone.

A Breitling makes more of a move these days. You'll still want to own a Rolex for certain situations -- just remember that The Moves are more subtle than the classic ostentatious Rolex, Ferrari, and other Vegas-style moves. You’ll make more of a show in Vegas with the smooth Moves than the over-the-top overdone Vegas for amateurs-trying-to-look-rich moves. Especially if you aren’t anywhere near Las Vegas!

Any watch that is exclusive, part of a "secret-club", and not extremely wel-known by the general public is perfect. Tag Heuer was good up until a few years ago when they showed up at CostCo. Patek Philippe and Cartier are old-school that are still good to go.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Move 10: The Black Card

An important move is to have an American Express card, because paying for membership does have its privileges.

The best Am-Ex card to have is the Centurion card, popularly known as the Black Card. It is the most exclusive charge card issued by American Express, and has a $2500 a year membership fee. It used to be available by invitation only, and can now be obtained by anyone with the means to pay the dues.

Your People should carry your Platinum or Gold cards for normal purchases. When you have to step up personally to buy something, nothing is a better move than slapping down that Black Card.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Move 9: The Cell Phone

Most people have a cell phone now, so just having one is not enough to be a move any more -- it used to be a great move. Now you can do the opposite and have one of Your People carry a cell phone, and you actually don't have one -- that is a big move; you are above cell phones.

However, an acceptable variation of the Cell Phone move is to always have the very latest, greatest, and hottest cell phone -- whichever one costs the most, is the hardest to get, and is just started to get buzz. In early 2007 this was the Blackberry Pearl or the iPhone; in 2010 it is the iPhone 4 and the Droid X, and in the future it will be something even newer and more exclusive. The problem with those 2007 models in 2008 is that now eveyone has one... same as the 2009 models in 2010 -- they are so last year!

Your cell phone must be International, and you can complain that's why you only are "playing with" the iPhone and haven't fully moved over to it yet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Move 8: Don't Carry Things

People with The Moves do not carry things. This move entails carrying the minimal luggage, including briefcase. Your People carry things; you do not carry things. When you are shopping on Rodeo Drive, you chit-chat with the manager as Your People ring up the bill, pay with your American Express card, and carry the items out to the car.

Your armed companion/driver carries your briefcase up until the last minute when you walk into the board meeting, leaving him in the reception area to wait.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Move 7: Armed Companion

This is a higher-level move to really convey wealth and power. Whenever you are in public, you have an armed companion with you who has a concealed handgun permit.

This person does all your dirty work.

They drive you at high speeds, stand in line, answer your cell phone, carry things, go into stores to grab some gum, open doors, argue with people, and anything else that you could do yourself.

You are much too important to chance losing your license, get into a fight, hurt someone's feelings, etc. Your armed companion should be the ultimate gentleman wing-man in the spirit of Leslie Charteris' Simon Templar, alias The Saint.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Move 6: Please Hold For...

Calls from you are patched through after screener establishes connection.

Your People make all your calls, have all the contact information, try all the numbers, and only bother you when the person you requested is waiting for you on the phone.

You don't want to be in the awkward position of leaving a message, talking to a voicemail system (which could come back to haunt you), trying multiple numbers, or waiting for someone to come to the phone.

Your time is money and everyone needs to know that. Having someone say, "Please hold for Mr. Simpson" when you called them is the perfect move.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Move 5: Voicemail

This one is simple and to the point. Don't record your own voicemail messages. Ever.

When people call you and get your voicemail system, which they will (naturally), there is a professional voice (of the opposite sex) informing them that you are not available and that they should leave a message.

The message should be changed daily by Your People for added effect.

Move 6 covers the way to avoid having to leave voicemail on other people's systems.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Move 4: Too Important for E-Mail

So how do you convey tremendous wealth and power over e-mail. The fourth move is to consistently answer e-mails in less than five words. Answer quickly (using your Blackberry Pearl or iPhone) with five words or don't reply at all. Never look back at old e-mails to follow-up at a later date -- it's now or never; you are much too important. If it is important to someone else, they will get back to you.

The technique for cleaning up your in-box is to select all and delete -- if that unread e-mail was important the sender will send it again.

Remember: things are urgent and quickly dealt with, or ignored. Nothing in between.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Move 3: The Presentation Genie

When you give a presentation, your PowerPoint slides advance automatically and are always on the correct slide due to some unseen intervention. This is the third move. Presentations are easy for you, and you glide right through them without any technical problems or manual clicking.

This move is facilitated by "one of your people" behinds the scenes, using a laptop to choose and click on the slide deck for you -- using the "freeze" option on the projector to hide their mechanics.

You never get your hands dirty and never have to struggle with those infernal clickers. You can have a bottom of water and a small laser pointer on hand if you need some props -- just make sure the laser pointer isn't red; green or blue is a better Move.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Move 2: Don't Dress For Success

The second move is dressing down inappropriately, almost in blissful ignorance of typical dress code for a given situation.

Once you have made it, you no longer have to dress for success -- that's for the other people; the ones who are not there yet.

This move can also include always wearing an item of clothing (e.g. Yankees baseball cap, sandals, shorts, no tie, a bow tie, all black, turtle-necks) regardless of the situation. This unique item is your signature fashion move.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Move 1: The Business Card

The first move is to get a new business card. You'll need one that is very plain, overly subtle, with no company name or enigmatic personal details.

There are only four items on the card:

  1. Your full legal name with middle initial, centered on the card in a elegant serif font, preferably using small caps.
  2. A P.O. Box address in New York, London, San Francisco, Rancho Santa Fe, or Beverly Hills.
  3. A single phone number
  4. And finally an e-mail address; the best have a subtle message:,, (if your name is Bill), or some other prestigious domain. Surprisingly addresses are acceptable -- for some reason the rich and famous still use AOL as their own private club.

Additional subtlety depends on a very high grade of thick, slightly off-white card stock with a font that is not part of any package of fonts -- you can't have this font without paying full price is an important part of the understated message.