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English / 27.01.2022 / 1753

How are the coolest among us being controlled?

Nikolay Mokhov, author from the Dark Side of Business

School teachers remind me of elephants on a rope. Do you remember this urban myth? In Africa, a small elephant was tied to a tree with a rope, so that he couldn’t run away. The elephant grew up, but he got used to the rope’s power, which he could now easily tear off. Nevertheless, the habit was stronger than common sense. At the same time, the latter isn’t something they lack. Elephants are highly intelligent animals. They could teach some humans a lesson…

Let’s go back to school teachers. Some of them would tear off the rope and run to freedom, away from the classrooms stinking of children’s sweat. All the way into business. Ever seen people like them? I’ve got to tell you, it’s one hell of a view. I’ve been on principals’ meetings with an ex English teacher. Back in her days she was in charge of an exemplary school, but the yearning for power and big money led her into big business.

Being able to give out grades is the greatest management skill one could acquire

Under her management, construction bosses turned into obedient children. Her orders were treated like homework — they would often forget to do it, and when they did, they’d blush as if they were young girls being told off. So, I was sitting down and contemplating:

— How? How can this woman make forty-year-old men turn into small boys and explain themselves, as if they were C students standing by the classroom board? What is the deal with that? Maybe she had some kind of a special voice? A posture? The most advanced hypnotizers would not be able place themselves that way… What is her secret?

Destiny, as if it was some kind of a mockery, always made me bump into other teachers.
Some were in control of millionaires, other hypnotized bigger audiences, and if gentlemen in suits were raising their hands to ask questions… then they were simply laughed at.



Rule of the Weakest

A dense leader confident in their authority likes to give out orders.

“Because I said so!” the strongman loudly exclaims.

The leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, comrade Trotsky, called all the shots himself. He did it to show that he was the master of life and death. Trotsky was outsmarted by comrade Stalin.

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The Student

I’m watching time grinding big businesses to dust. Some of them I know quite well. Just yesterday, their owners used to think they were rich. Today they find out: a couple more months of quarantine and only dust will remain of all their treasures. And not golden dust — gray dust. Tomorrow, those who used to be held up as an example to all will be forgotten. New heroes will appear. Looking at these stories, I remember the words of my Teacher:

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Whetstone for attention

— So the secret to success is to be in the right place at the right time?" - Someone asked in the Dark Side chat. How can I comment on this? Let me tell you about a multi-million dollar deal I once made. I'm not telling the story to show off as the money was already spent for parties in the city a long time ago — there is nothing to brag about. I'm telling the story to illustrate one principle.

So, here is the story. At a restaurant in Moscow, there was this construction businessman, his PR guy, and me. I had already handed over a report on my work. I was having some coffee, meanwhile listening to them discussing the promotion of business operations abroad.

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