48 Laws of Power: Law #16 Use Absence to Increase Respect & Honor

Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor

  •      Too much circulation makes the price go down.
  •      If you’re already established in a group, temporarily withdraw to make people talk.
  •      Create value through scarcity.

This works best if you have skills that constantly requires your presence. If you’re a disposable worker bee, your boss can easily replace you with another disposable worker bee. If you develop skills that few individuals possess, say a very niche programming skill like cryptography or being a CEO of a couple successful companies, your bosses and/or overseers will cut you significant slack.

Don’t think of these skills as out of reach; simply knowing the ins-and-outs of your particular profession will give you a leg up on your competition or any replacement.

In my fields (engineering and filmmaking) the fundamental leg up between you and your peers is the ability to communicate. So many aspiring engineers can do the busy work, but can’t talk to clients and communicate what’s happening in layman’s terms. In film, so many people have an artistic vision, but few acquire the technical know-how to implement their vision. Obviously networking and a bit of luck will greatly assist your career rise, but being genuinely competent affords you some slack once your peers recognize you as an indispensable member of the team.

Another way to phase this law always know more than the next guy – that knowledge will make you indispensable.


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