5 things I learned from Winning Through Intimidation

With such a strong title, you would be quick to dismiss this as an arrogant book that is teaching you to become one of those “people” who are willing to step on others to get what you want. Admit it, you thought that the moment you read that title. And you haven’t even read the book. Just goes to show how much we are willing to judge a book by its cover. But, let’s take a moment to peel it back and see what you can get from it.

Robert Ringer goes through a few home truths. You know how they say

“When you are on the side of the majority. You need to stop and think”

The world today works on ideas. But people have not yet gone through the process of letting their ideas go and allowing it to grow. They hold on to it so that you can keep all the intellectual property. Yes, I am guilty of doing the same. However whenever I am looking to make a change, I initiate the “30 day” test. Do something consistently (the new habit) for 30 days straight. It will stick and if I find that it doesn’t give me what I need, I either drop it or make amendments. Depends on the goal – but you get the basic idea. Once I started giving my ideas away, a whole new world opened up for me.

And it’s then that I faced one of the harsh truths of this world. Not everyone is on your side. And if they are, they are only in it for as much as they can get out of it. Yes. It’s true. And you might think that is a very harsh view of the world. But either you face reality or you won’t realise the game that is being played around you and continue living in your own cocoon. A good anecdote that comes to mind:

“An elephant and her baby are tied to a post. The mother is tied with a flimsy rope. The baby with chains. The baby is pulling on it like crazy, whilst the mother stands there calm. A passerby asked their owner about the strange phenomenon to which he replies – the mother is used to it so we don’t have to use much force. Whereas we need to break in the child”

Sometimes, we can become locked into what society expects of us and if we dare to venture off the path – it’s the biggest “no-no” there is. Purely because they don’t want the world that they have created around them to crumble. We are a weird lot. We only change when there is pain and we will do everything we can to stay comfortable. Hell it explains why so many people stand by when there are crimes being committed but … wow…. that’s a whole other post. If I haven’t lost you as yet, then I encourage you to read further and see whether these things make sense to you. I of course, encourage you to read the book yourself to get your own version of the story.

1. Positive Mental Attitude: This is less about positive affirmations and more about actual success. Surprisingly, success breeds success. And how do you get more successful? Yes, one is to try more and fail more. But not to look at it as “failure” but more as a stepping stone to the next way to try something. By being better prepared you are able to come armed for success. How do you do this? You learn the rules of the game and then you control it. Whilst Robert talks about it from the perspective of a real estate broker, these words can be used for anything. This leads to something that I have heard Roger Federer say often in interviews (“What’s next?”). By consistently learning from your failures and ensuring you don’t make the SAME DAMN MISTAKE again, your process automatically becomes better. And even with all the preparation in the world, you can still fail. That’s when you focus on the “next” that you are able to move on.

2. Long and hard hours are relative: You could work 4 hard hours and produce 10 times the result. But this is always dependant on the person that’s doing it. You could then have some work 12 hours to produce the same outcome because of his skillset. But that’s all relative. And once again… the above 2 points whilst thrown a lot in our faces, won’t guarantee you success and the outcomes you deserve.

3. So face “Reality”. Acknowledge the situation as it is and use it to your benefit or it will automatically work AGAINST you.

4. The 4 cornerstones according to Ringer:

a. Theory of Relativity: For a moment, I was excited thinking that I was going to get some Einstein on but my inner physicist would have to wait. When choosing a course of action (or inaction), weigh the important facts in a relative light and carefully define your terms. So when someone says “success” – what does that mean to others and what does that mean to you? A good example that Ringer gives: Do you know that someone who admits to being dishonest? Yet, do you know a dishonest person? In essence, people can be honest or dishonest relative to the circumstances.

b. Theory of Relevance: No matter how true or good a fact, you need to consider how relevant it is in helping you meet your goals. Pretty simple, right? But when was the last time you implemented this?

c. Mortality Theory: Life is short. Aim high and move fast!!

d. Ice Ball Theory: In the end, nothing really matters so stop taking yourself so seriously. Admittedly, I burst out laughing reading this part. On a quiet train, around 6:15am. With my headphones in. I can now, no longer look at my passengers in the eye. Ah well. Ice Ball, right?

5. Tortoise and Hare: Always aim to play the long game. As in, go in to win the war and not the battle. The one quote I loved from the book:

“If you slow down enough to look over your right shoulder, I’ll pass you on the left. If you slow down enough to look over your left shoulder, I’ll pass you on the right. And if you stop me from passing, I’ll manuever through your legs if that’s what it takes. That heavy breathing you hear behind you is me – steadily closing in on you”

If you don’t feel a sense of bad-assery after reading that, then I don’t know what will give you the right sort of motivation.

6. Your success is inversely proportionate to the level you are intimidated. So don’t be intimidated by know-it-alls. Mind your own business, make sure things are relevant and keep going to the next thing.

7. There are 3 types of people in business according to Ringer (and if you’re in a corporate role, you will be nodding along to these in quiet but disagree with me in public. It’s ok. I won’t hold it against you):

a. Type 1: Lets you know from the outset that he is after your share and makes no qualms about it. Actively seeks it out. So better be prepared for this sort of person. If you can choose not to engage with them, then by all means, don’t! But if it’s unavoidable, then make sure you have all you need to go in prepared.
b. Type 2: Assures you that he won’t but his actions betray him. Dear God. When someone says “Trust me” run. Just RUN. There is nothing worse than someone who says “Trust me”. I have been burned from this myself. I wish I had read Ringer’s book 4 years ago.
c. Type 3: Through his own inadequacy or stupidity manages to get your share of the bargain. If you know the rules of the game… you can be sure to avoid this naffy.

8. Leap Frog Theory: Anyone, at any time can choose to no longer be part of the game and try to “rise through the ranks”. You can create your game and you can control the outcomes once you know the rules!

9. Theory of Intimidation: Results are always inversely proportionate to the degree to which you allow others to intimidate you.

10. Posture theory: It’s not what you say or do. But the posture you have when you say it. And this doesn’t just mean body langauge. This also comes through when you know what you’re talking about. Be prepared and go in to win.

I said 5? Huh, guess I learned a few more lessons than I expected. And it makes sense to give you all I have learned. If you get the chance, read through it and let me know your thoughts. As Kingdom Hearts (a great video game, to the unitiated) mentions this best:

We all share the same sky. One Sky. One World. But we all have different horizons.

4 thoughts on “5 things I learned from Winning Through Intimidation

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