The First Law Of Power: Never Outshine Your Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too…
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite—inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
This law simply means that people should be humble. An employee is a servant and servanthood is powerful. A good servant is humble. As an employee, you should learn to bring more to your job than you are paid for but always read the environment and don’t rock the boat.
Serve unobtrusively and don’t be a threat. As an employee, you’re a guest. Someone else built the company that employs you. It took time, energy, and the benefit of many mistakes and consequent lessons to grow and cultivate it to a point where it can support you and those you love and lead. Once you understand your environment, the benefits of not outshining your boss begin to accumulate.
Know where your boss wants to go and what his plans, goals, and objectives are. Once you know those, help him to achieve them. If he is a good boss, a good master, he will remember you and reward you. If he is not you still benefit because you will have learned valuable lessons studying him.
Have humility. Humility is the first key to self-mastery. Let people think you are naive and a coward, but deep inside you know what you are doing.
If you seek to ascend the dominance hierarchy, you’ll learn that as you rise you’re valued more for your judgment and discretion than for any technical expertise you bring to the equation.
Technicians can always be hired; men of discretion and good judgment are rare and very valuable. And, with discretion and good judgment, you build trust. Trust is the most valuable commodity there is.