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.