Law 34: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion – Act Like a King to be treated like one


The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated: In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.

Powerful people may be tempted to affect a common-man aura, trying to create the illusion that they and their subjects or underlings are basically the same. But the people whom this false gesture is intended to impress will quickly see through it. They understand that they are not being given more power—that it only appears as if they shared in the powerful person's fate.

Leaders who try to dissolve that distance through a false chumminess gradually lose the ability to inspire loyalty, fear, or love. Instead they elicit contempt, they are too uninspiring even to be worth the guillotine—the best they can do is simply vanish in the night, as if they were never there.

The Problem

1. We set up boundaries that only get firmer with time.
2. We come to expect less from the world.
3. We accept limitations that are really self-imposed.
4. We bow and scrape and apologize for even the simplest of requests.

The Solution

1. Deliberately force ourselves in the opposite direction.
2. Downplay the failures and ignore the limitations.
3. Make yourself demand and expect as much as a child.

The Strategy of the Crown

1. Based on a simple chain of cause and effect.
2. If we believe we are destined for great things, our belief will radiate outward.
3. This outward radiance will infect the people around you.
4. Your limits and boundaries disappear.
5. You will be surprised how often it bears fruit.
6. Be overcome by your self-belief.
· Even while you know you are practicing a kind of deception on yourself. Act like a king or queen, you are likely to be treated as one.

The Difference

1. The crown may separate you from other people.
2. It is up to you to make that separation real.
3. You have to act differently, demonstrating your distance from those around you. One way to emphasize your difference is to always act with dignity, no matter the circumstance.
5. Do not confuse regal bearing with arrogance, it betrays insecurity.

3 Strategies to Reinforce a Royal Demeanor

1. The Columbus Strategy:

1. Always make a bold demand.
2. Set your price high.
3. Do not waver.

2. The David and Goliath Strategy:

1. In a dignified way, go after the highest person in the building.
2. By choosing a great opponent, you create the appearance of greatness.
3. This puts you on the same plane as the chief executive you are attacking.

3. The Gift Strategy:

1. Give a gift of some sort to those above you.
2. By giving your patron a gift, you are saying that the two of you are equal.
3. It is the old con game of giving so that you can take.
· The gift strategy is subtle and brilliant because you do not beg: You ask for help in a dignified way that implies equality between two people, one of whom just happens to have more money.

Remember: It is up to you to set your own price. Ask for less and that is just what you will get. Ask for more, however, and you send a signal that you are worth a king's ransom. Even those who turn you down respect you for your confidence, and that respect will eventually pay off in ways you cannot imagine.


The idea behind the assumption of regal confidence is to set yourself apart from other people, but if you take this too far it will be your undoing. Never make the mistake of thinking that you elevate yourself by humiliating people. Also, it is never a good idea to loom too high above the crowd—you make an easy target. And there are times when an aristocratic pose is eminently dangerous.

Finally, it is true that you can sometimes find some power through affecting a kind of earthy vulgarity, which will prove amusing by its extremeness. Separating yourself from other people by appearing even more vulgar than they are, the game is dangerous: There will always be people more vulgar than you, and you will easily be replaced the following season by someone younger and worse.