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.

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