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Notes business

Chapter 6: Lead from the Front – Authority (The 50th Law)

FOR IT IS A GENERAL RULE OF HUMAN NATURE THAT PEOPLE DESPISE THOSE WHO TREAT THEM WELL AND LOOK UP TO THOSE WHO MAKE NO
CONCESSIONS.

—Thurydides

Wayne got out of prison and wanted to get rid of Curtis Jackson, who was doing well for himself. On the streets, popularity is not always a good thing. But Wayne wasn’t keen on doing it himself. Since he was experienced and respected, he figured that a young kid, who wanted to impress him, would do the job for him. That young kid was Nitty.

Curtis noticed that Nitty was following him around. This put Curtis in a tough situation, he figured out that Wayne was trying to take him out.

If he confronted Wayne personally, he would be in a vulnerable position since Wayne was on the defensive and prepared to take Curtis out. If he killed Nitty, he would get locked up in jail for a long time and would gift Wayne exactly what he wanted. And if he did nothing he would get killed.  

One day, he asked his friend Tony to help him out. They found Nitty on the street, and while Tony held him, Curtis carved a scar on Nitty’s face and beat him up. Then the pair shot Wayne’s empty car.  

Curtis was expecting things to change the next day, and they did.

Nitty, after returning from the hospital, went to visit Wayne so that they would both take out Curtis, but Wayne wasn’t interested in doing the dirty work. This put Nitty off, he realized that he was being used as a pawn and refused to take part in it. He would live with his scar.

Wayne couldn’t ask anyone else to do the job, because it would be too obvious that he was scared to do anything himself. He backed off and lost respect, while Curtis gained respect for outwitting Wayne.

To be a leader, you should lead from the front. If you choose to lead from the back, refusing to put yourself in danger, delegating responsibilities to others, you lose respect, and the ability to command others. Wayne lost credibility because he refused to put his own skin in the game. But this tendency is not unique.

When people rise to power, either because they are politically gifted, or they took a bold risk and it paid off, they will have to prove themselves again once they are in a position of power. Many people who find themselves in this position fail, because they are not used to the demands that come with their new position, instead choosing to rely on committees, or doing the opposite, being authoritarian and harsh, which is another sign of weakness.

"A gilded No is more satisfactory than a dry yes" - Gracian

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