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Question about projecting power in a business social circle (A nonviolent mafia)

I need help setting a goal, and I know there are forum members that can help here.

I want to create or join a social circle of powerful men that love and protect each other.

I want to create a 'mafia', (without the organized crime component).

Perhaps the illuminati is a better model. A secret society where members helps each other. The goal is not to 'rule the world' but to be immune to power attacks and independent of society (as much as possible).

The goal for this social circle is 'to protect': against power abuses, against random accidents, against d*ckhead service providers, against abusive investors, against gov doing silly things, against competitors gaining an unfair advantage, etc

It's important that the people in the social circle are powerful so that they can help you reach your goals.

But I realized that on most social circles, you cannot project power. And projecting power is necessary to protect.
(Feel free to challenge every step in this chain of thoughts!).

Example 1:
A social group of 20 CEOs in Berlin.
One of them applies for a L1 Visa to the US through a lawyer. The lawyer charges him 10k USD and delivers nothing.
What can these 20 powerful Berlin CEOs do? Other than not use the lawyer and telling their friends? Their social circles will not overlap that of the lawyer's potential clients.

Power is specific to a domain. If the attacker was from the same domain as one of the CEOs, it might have worked better.

Example 2:
John: I have been ripped off by a phone game from 'companyX"; my children have clicked on ads that charged my credit card 1000s of euro. Google pay doesn't want to refund my money.
Peter: I know companyX's CEO. We are in the same industry. Let me see if I can bring your case to his eyes. I'm sure they don't want the bad press of their company using children cheating parents out of 1000s of euro.

Mafias 'work' because they can project a very 'universal' form of power: physical violence. And they have a reputation of doing so that already dissuades some attackers. If they can blow the car of companyX's CEO, or of the Lawyer that ran away without delivering a service, they don't have a problem.
But my 'non vionlent' social circle will.

Does this make sense?

My question is then: "Is it worth it to build said social circle?" It could take me years. And unless it can project power, I don't think it will 'protect' me.

ZenDancer has reacted to this post.
ZenDancer

Hi there LoF,

It sounds like a great idea to have that long-term vision and project in your approach. Social circles naturally evolve and change over the years.. some dissipate and new ones form, so I suspect it might prove challenging to have a single cohesive circle of powerful men who  have all bought into being part of one circle.. that's not to say it's impossible... maybe, over the long-term, it would take the form of developing a network of relationships with powerful  men (and women?), with you being at the center? (what I'm getting at here is, do all the members of this circle need to be friends with each other as well, because that's harder to control)

Lucas

leaderoffun has reacted to this post.
leaderoffun

Thanks Lucas. Yeah, anything social circle is damn hard, so many variables you don't control. And yeah, I want people to be friends with each other. Maybe I'm asking for to much?

Super interesting.

So correct me if I'm wrong, this would be more a case of projecting power THROUGH an illuminati-like social circle, rather than in (in, than would be a totally different use case).

I think you may be underestimating the power of 20 high-powered, well-connected industry leaders.

Sure mafia can do something that your social circle cannot.
But your social circle also can do a lot of things that the mafia association might not.

Personally, I'd wonder more about the size though.
You're probably better off with a really close knit of, say, 3-4 that are also your close friends.
Even just one single high-power or rising star you have close will almst double your power (PU calls it "brother in arm" strategy with some examples).

And then beside that closely knit one, also the bigger one you mention.

leaderoffun has reacted to this post.
leaderoffun
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

"projecting power THROUGH an illuminati-like social circle" CORRECT

The social circle is a strategy to feel secure, to know that you would not be screwed over.

The higher up you go in business, the more you meet questionable characters. If the stakes are high, the incentives for deception are higher. Betrayals are (I'm guessing) common. Plus the way society is going, we are more and more in the hands of govs (big govs, authoritarian govs, getting bigger: see Australia) and corporations (see the example of the game company; but also any corp that has data on you or provides a service to you has power over you). I want to be protected against that.

Aiming at 3-5 CEOs is good. That's close to what I have. But we are very far from projecting power. None of the 'power abuses' I cite as examples would have been prevented with my 3-5 CEO setup. This is why I brought the topic to you power dynamics practitioners: unlike physical violence, there's no universal form of power that can be projected here. The power we may have is not project-able. And adding CEOs would not fix that directly.

I'm talking about power like "that person that screwed with me will be smitten by the Gods" and the grass will not grow where he is.

I'm starting to think that that type of power is not easy to find except in the hands of dictators (I'm thinking Putin). Am I wrong? Working through the course, 3% done lol, sorry if I'm asking something that is there 🙂

From my interpretation of your context, it seems that you're talking about coercive power.
That's what I understand from your use of the term "projecting power".
You would like to have the option of forcing a person into submission if he/she crosses certain lines.

Physical violence is certainly one way.
Maybe what you're asking is the civilised forms of aggression to dominate a person completely.

A few thoughts:

  • Money
    You hate your business competitor?
    Buy him out with money and leave his company in the dust
  • Social Connections and Status
    You don't like someone in your circle?
    Use your social influence to destroy his status
  • Monopolies or Linchpin
    Are you the only source of value for a particular field/domain/business/product?
    And a person needs this value but you don't like him?
    He's at your mercy in that regard.
  • Information flow
    You control the flow of a particular type of essential information.
    You can cut someone out of this information flow, and he will suffer a lot.

To have unlimited, "coercive" power, you need to

  • monopolise all sources of value,
  • control all the major social connections,
  • have good status among the wider public and inner circle of powerful people,
  • control the information flow

A few ways you can move towards this power with the type of business social circle you desire:

  • Become a billionaire
  • Control essential multi-national corporations in different industries
  • Become a president of a large country
  • Control key channels of information flow like social media and media
    This is why Jeff Bezos bought Washington Post.
    And why Mark Zuckerberg is so powerful.

I have no personal experience and no research in the above, so it's all educated guesses.

Lucio Buffalmano and leaderoffun have reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmanoleaderoffun

The goal of building a social circle with people having a lot of influence and power in society is a huge goal and I am sure you know it takes a significant amount of time especially when you want have CEO's of fortune 500 companies and high level politicians.

For building these sorts of social circle like any other social circles requires you to bring value when you expect them to give you value.

This makes one ask the question what would be considered valuable for a CEO or a politician? Can you help the politician in his campaigns and help get people to his/her side? Can you recommend a CEO some good and unique marketing strategies? or give valuable insight into a market for the company he works in? or help through some influence in a field he doesn't have much leverage in it himself?

 

Ask yourself the question of how long it might take you to achieve this goal considering where you are at now? If it's in decades or you are not really sure whether you will be able to do it or not then this goal is best kept at the back of one's mind.

It's better to concentrate your efforts on immediate goals which will help you progress and also notice it yourself.

If you are sailing halfway across the world it's more helpful to concentrate and put your efforts into navigating the seas you are in right now.

 

Make Sense?

Lucio Buffalmano and leaderoffun have reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmanoleaderoffun

@growfast thanks. You make a good point that this is a huge project, and one where it's hard to know if you can reach the goal.

Just one quick thing: This is NOT about politicians. And not about CEO's of fortune 500 companies. These guys are unreachable to me and quite honestly I don't have anything to offer to them nor have the patience to deal with the BS associated to getting close to them.

This is just CEOs of tech companies, not giant companies. There are quite a few more than 500 of those; perhaps 50 Million 🙂

And the constraint of being CEOs is just to make it concrete in my 'dream': it doesn't need to be that way. Anyone who is powerful, interesting, and able to love and protect the others is welcome (win-win, high quality people).

Still very much unclear what the value of the circle is to bring people in. I suspect that when people 'see' it they get it immediately. But maybe I have to be more explicit. And admission requirements may have to be explicit too. I don't want to have to 'burn' the circle after putting in a  lot of effort like @John Freeman had ot do here: https://thepowermoves.com/forum/topic/social-group-whatsapp-groups-are-detrimental/

Quote from leaderoffun on January 14, 2022, 8:28 am

Aiming at 3-5 CEOs is good. That's close to what I have. But we are very far from projecting power. None of the 'power abuses' I cite as examples would have been prevented with my 3-5 CEO setup. This is why I brought the topic to you power dynamics practitioners: unlike physical violence, there's no universal form of power that can be projected here. The power we may have is not project-able. And adding CEOs would not fix that directly.

I'm talking about power like "that person that screwed with me will be smitten by the Gods" and the grass will not grow where he is.

I'm starting to think that that type of power is not easy to find except in the hands of dictators (I'm thinking Putin). Am I wrong? Working through the course, 3% done lol, sorry if I'm asking something that is there 🙂

Oh so those were real examples, got it.

I think you are projecting some power already, just not at the level you express (yet).

And, well, the level you're asking for is... Huge.

Differentiation Matters

It's still possible to reach an almost mafia-level type of self-defense (or revenge), but then those CEOs need to be CEO of top companies and from disparate fields, not just tech.

Everyone from the same sector strongly limits your leverage because of the overlap.

Any big name you add from the same field brings in more or less the same expertise and the same connections.

For example, if one heavy-hitter in that circle was in the media industry, he could run articles on "conmen lawyers" with this guy's name and face.
And maybe put an investigative journalist into it who discovers he did the same to other people. Then the journalist would contact his payment providers and tell them "do you want to enable this conman to clear money through you", and he might lose access to several payment providers (happens a lot when virtue signalers single out some dating coaches, albeit sometimes some of them did do some stupid shit. But let's stay on topic).

Another one with a PR firm could organize a campaign of online reviews so that everyone searching for him and his name would never want to work with him -or be close to him- in any shape or form (and it would also be true, true in case).

Etc. etc.

Even the mafia only went to the next level when it extended more control over politicians, the media, and the unions (plus having in its ranks both earners and enforcers).
It wasn't just an organization of criminals, it was an organization with control of several different levers of power.

Heart Matters

To work well, the organization needs to be tight.

In the minds, first and foremost.
They all need to be really in, into this thing.

That's one of the differentiators in mafia organizations: it's not just the use of violence -which is obviously also a big part of it-, but also that everyone's in it big time with their hearts and beliefs.
If you listen to Savaltore Gravano, that guy's heart is still in it.

The difficulty in getting big names into it is the risk.
Those guys are doing great already.
To enlist them, you have to make it less risky for them, with good upsides.

Hiring Goons

Furthermore, it's not written anywhere that you have absolute no recourse to some forms of coercion or revenge.

If you want to damage someone it's always possible to pay someone to do the illegal stuff for you through an intermediary.

Say, he stole 10k from you, and someone slashes his car's tires.

Now you feel better.

And that's not so difficult.

Or even simpler, you can just scare him off at very low risk by throwing, say, bullet cases in front of his doorstep and a dead animal -very effective and small penalties even in the unlikely event that the executioner gets caught. And small penalty = no need to rat on whoever asked him to do it-.

For that, you'd just need someone with connections in the small-time underworld.
Even some lousy drug addict would do for that lower-level stuff.

As a final note, we don't endorse anything illegal here.
And any time there is a hurt, it's always worth mentioning that there is lots of personal power in the ability to let go.

leaderoffun has reacted to this post.
leaderoffun
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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