Enter the 48 Laws
In 2019, I was in the midst of therapy due to unresolved issues from my youth and a near death experience involving an SUV (I was not in) hitting my house (which I was in). In one of those sessions, my recent change of jobs was brought up, with an emphasis on how that came about … and I was encouraged to share that experience, as others might have interest in hearing about it.
You see, I came off a week on holiday on the beach with a new mindset and I quit my job. I hit management with the truth — all the way up to the CEO. I burned bridges that were rotten. There was no big show, no freak out (on my part, at least) or melodrama, and I walked out on my own volition with my head held high. I set out to get my power back.
I bet on myself.
Yes, you read that correctly. On that warm August day, I gambled and bet on myself. While there were moments of tension over the ensuing couple weeks, that bet paid off big. In fact, I was so confident I would be alright that I approached the interviews with an air of not giving a damn. In my interviews I was honest and stated that my endgame involved going into business for myself. I set myself a goal — 5–7 years and I would be in business for myself as an independent Salesforce contractor/consultant. Sufficient time to gain the experience and tutelage necessary to reach my goal.
My hiring manager was in a bit of awe that I had this goal, that I was up front about it, and I was adamant that it was my endgame (and probably taken aback a bit that I wore jeans to the interviews). I got the job on a “new” team within an established Salesforce org. Increase in pay, increase in responsibilities, and the opportunity to gain insight and experience from professionals in my chosen line of work. It went well for about 9 months … then the aforementioned SUV slammed into our home. I took that as a sign.
My wife & I had been discussing next steps for our lives, for our family … and much of that was necessitated on another upgrade in my career. So, when the dust settled (literally & metaphorically), I fed the beast and gambled again. And it paid off in a way bigger than the previous time … this time, however, I was not brash in my exit from my employer. They had earned respect, and so I exited respectfully. This one wasn’t as easy, still I made it happen.
But the real question in this is “how?” … how can you “just quit”??
My initial answer was the straight-forward logical one … “well, I got a migraine from being on a conference call at the end of vacation … and I decided I couldn’t do it anymore. So I wrote up a resignation letter …” But that’s not what someone really wants to hear about. And it has taken me quite some time to figure out the “how” and put it into words.
The “how” is power, energy … more to the point my power, my energy. Having hit career bottom prior to taking the first job mentioned above, I was so grateful to have found a job that I gave my power away. Like so many others, I thought that was the right way to go about it. I was deluded into thinking that by doing so, I would then be “rewarded” for my loyalty and dedication. Instead, I was drained until I had nothing left to give … and then I remained, as I felt I had no where to go that would give me the shot. I believed that, and it manifested itself in the plethora of interviews resulting in 0 offers. I had the experience, but I lacked the energy. I lacked my power.
It took my wife’s trust and living on the beach for a week to get that power back. I realized I couldn’t do it anymore, and no one was going to give back what I had sacrificed. So I took my power back with boldness. It didn’t require a big scene, it didn’t require drawing attention to myself. I just required me to be so bold as to take back what was mine.
Be mindful of your power and if you have given it away. Your energy is a valuable commodity, and should not be given to someone else who will leave you with nothing. We are beings of energy, life is powered by energy. Your power, your energy are yours to do with as you need, as you want. That is yours. Be mindful of your power, while it grants you the ability to make moves that you need to, abuse will hurt yourself and others close to you.
Something about great power and great responsibility.
Harnessing your power and using your power requires responsibility. Taking your power back does not give you carte blanche to wield it with reckless abandon or even arrogance. Wielding your power for your benefit requires focus, daring, attention, and mindfulness. Power, your power, is at the center of it all … it’s the battery at your core.
In 1998, The 48 Laws of Power was published. Written by Robert Greene, it has served as motivation, as inspiration, as a guide to minds everywhere. It lays bare 48 “laws” to use in effect of increasing one’s power — for whatever one’s chosen purpose. Like many others, I own this book, I have read through this book … and I have taken some of the laws to heart.
And that serves as motivation for this series … Enter the 48 Laws. I will take a perspective on each of the 48 Laws, and how it can be used. No recitations, no historical comparisons — that has been done time and again. I choose to look at the practical use(s) of the laws, how they can relate to you, my readers, in your life and career.
Note — some of the laws seem (and are, in ways) contradictory to other laws. Not all laws apply at all points in time — like the laws of gravity, they are sometimes bent or broken. But, I have said enough for now … and I will start at the beginning next time.
Law 1: Never outshine the master