Dishonesty can be disrupted by ethical influence. Alex Mandossian discusses how ethical authority is gained gradually while unethical authority is gained instantly. He talks about the six laws of influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini, particularly consistency and commitment, and uses a bell curve and a quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. to illustrate the difference between wisdom and knowledge. In connection with this, he also discusses the four karmic laws or the Laws of Nature. Through these principles, Alex hopes to have shared the value of ethical influence and authority.
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Disrupting Dishonest People
In this episode, you’ll discover number one, how authority earned gradually is ethical. If you want to earn it instantly, it can be unethical through your ambitions. Number two, you’ll learn why the principle of consistency is one of the most powerful ethical influence tools you’ll ever have. Number three, the difference of what wisdom is by definition and how it can conflict with your ambition.
The Story Of The Wise Man
This is the story of an elderly wise man who lived in a Middle Eastern village many years ago and was challenged once by an ambitious young man. The wise man was elderly and he was known in his village and all the neighboring villages. This was many hundreds of years ago. In all villages, whether it’s in the Middle East or other parts of the world, usually there is a central gathering place. It can be a church, a synagogue, or a mosque, and it was in the central square of the village.
There was something special about this wise man. It wasn’t the fact that he was old. It was the fact that week after week, consistently, year after year, decade after decade, he assembled on a Sunday that happened to be after a spiritual practice that the entire village engaged in. In the village square, he would have throngs of people waiting in line for advice.
Every riddle, question, and family problem, any business predicament that any of the villagers pose to this wise man was always answered promptly, effectively, and with wisdom. The answers were simple but they were simply having thought of all the complex alternatives because, through wisdom, he knew what not to do. Word had spread and many villages started to hear about this wise elderly man. Soon after many decades, thousands of people assembled and they would wait in line.
Some would come as parents with their children. Some would come as couples with marital problems and other people would come in as business people wanting to know the answer to their important question. Everyone got one question. One week, the news of this wise man spread to an ambitious young man in his twenties. He lived in a neighboring village so he didn’t know the wise man but he’d heard about his reputation.
The young man thought, “If I’m ambitious enough, I could be as famous as the wise man. Why does it have to take decades to become wise? What if I pose a riddle or question that will prove the old man wrong?” The young man, as ambitious as he was, set out with a plan. The plan was not integrity-based but nevertheless, he knew that he would stump the old man. It would show the rest of the village that the young man was right and the old man was wrong.
Here was his plan. The young man would come on one of the Sundays, make his way through the crowd, cut in line and go on top of the platform where the old man would be standing. In the hands of the young man, he would have a dove clasped and hidden between the palms of his hands. The first question you would ask the wise man is what it was that he had held in the palms of his hands. You couldn’t see what was inside.
If the wise man said, “Young man, you have a dove clasp in your hands,” then the young man had a second plan because he was ambitious. His plan B was foolproof to get him notoriety and to have the old man proven wrong for the first time in front of all the people and possibly humiliate him. The second question was if the dove was dead or alive.
If the old man said that the dove was alive then the young man would take the right thumb of his right hand, place it over the dove’s head, crush the dove’s head and kill it. This wasn’t a nice young guy, as you can tell but that was his plan. He would unclasp his hands to show the crowds that the dove was dead and prove the old man wrong. However, if the wise man’s response were that the dove was dead then the young man would simply unclasp his hands and let the dove fly freely into the air.
[bctt tweet=”When you’re consistent over time, you have influence that is ethical. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
Can you see the scene that I am suggesting? On one Sunday, the young man came into the throng of people in the crowd and made his way. He cut in line to the front and he startled all the people standing in line but they let him go. The wise man welcomed him and he got onto the platform.
The young man with the dove clasped and hidden in his hands, asked the question, “Wise man, they say you’re so wise. You’ve been here for many decades, even before when I was born. Tell me, if you are wise, what is it I have hidden and clasped within my hands?” The wise man looked at the young man’s eyes and he said, “Young man, you have a dove clasped in your hands.” The young man nodded his head and the crowd cheered.
They were excited because once again, the wise man was right. Consistently, he was right week after week. This man was legendary and had a legacy while he was still living. The young man raised both of his hands in the air with the dove still clasped because they couldn’t see it and he said, “I’m not done. I have a second question. I want to know, is the dove that is in my hands dead or alive?”
Remember, if the wise man’s answer were that the dove was alive, the young man would crush the dove’s skull, kill it, and show the crowd and prove the old man wrong. However, if the wise man said the dove was dead then the young man would simply, with all his ambition, unclasp his hands, let the dove fly freely into the air, and prove the wise man wrong.
He asked the question, but this time, the wise man didn’t answer. He looked at the young man and there was a puzzled look that none of the crowd has ever seen before. Could he be stumped? Could he be, once and for all, proven wrong and he didn’t know the answer? The young man said, “Wise man, why do you hesitate to my second question? I want to know is the dove clasped within my hands dead or alive?”
At that moment, the wise man peered straight into the young man’s eyes and he said, “Young man, that decision rests in your own hands.” The young man was stumped, let the dove fly freely into the air and the wise man saved that dove’s life. I heard that story when I was a teenager in high school and I’ve been telling that story for many years. I taught the story and taught the lessons of the story in the moral of the story in college. I’ve taught it to my children and my students, and I love that story.
Ethical And Unethical Influence
I don’t know if it’s true or not. I’ve made some embellishments to make it a little bit more interesting but the moral of the story is interesting. The wise man had authority but he had earned that authority. He had earned it gradually over time, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. This wise man had an influence through his consistency of always being right. This is an ethical influence because when you’re consistent over time, you have influence that is ethical.
Many times, people want instant authority and many times, they have to do it in an unethical way. For example, it may take many years for a bank to have tens of millions of dollars in deposits, but what happens? Someone wants instant authority and money. What do they do? They go in and they rob the bank. That is called unethical, or many times, maybe someone who has some great relationship capital. We’ve talked about relationship capital in previous episodes of All Selling Aside.
Without even knowing the person, you leapfrog all the different stages of intimacy, of getting to know the person to reciprocate back to you to do things for that person. Also, to earn the right in order to have an ethical influence with that person. Many times, I’ll have people come to me and say, “Alex, will you mail your list for this incredible offer? It’s irresistible. I know it will work. I haven’t tested it yet but I know your list will generate some cash and I’ll pay 50% commission.”
I chuckle internally, but externally, I say, “Why would I want 50% of an irresistible offer when I have irresistible offers where I can keep 100%? Why would I want to confuse my tribe?” That tribe is you. You’re part of that tribe, at least with this show but the tribe I’m talking about is at MarketingOnline.com and I’ve had that site since 2003. Think about it. If you want ethical influence and authority, earn it gradually.
An acorn turns into a giant oak tree over time. A watermelon seed turns into a watermelon within a season. A human being, when you were released by your father and received by your mother, it took about 40 weeks before you came out over 10,000 times the size. You were a swimmer. You made it in. You won the ovarian lottery, you were born a winner, and you came out naked, scared and as a crying baby. At least if you’re reading and you’re like most children being born, that’s the case.
My son, Gabriel, came out with a little bit of a conehead, which troubled me but then it went back to the normal size after a few days. What’s the point of this? The point isn’t about having patience. It’s about having lasting influence and gradual means ethical. Instant can often be unethical. You can do this by consistently and gradually maintaining your authority and influence over time. Wisdom, ultimately, is defined by that level of consistency over time.
Knowledge Versus Wisdom
Knowledge can be complicated but wisdom is simple. Many times, wisdom can conflict with ambition because ambition often needs to be done fast. At least most humans like to do it fast. Let me tell you the difference between wisdom and knowledge. If you can imagine a bell curve, and a bell curve is a curve that goes up and comes back down. We use it in school a lot with the distribution of grades these days.
Look it up on Google if you don’t know what it looks like, but along the X-axis, it goes from left to right and on the Y-axis, it goes up and then it comes back down. On the left side of that bell curve, that simplicity on the near side of complexity, that’s called knowledge. It could be driving a car, tying your shoe, reading, writing, doing mathematics or remembering history. That’s knowledge. Applying that knowledge does help but you’re going through that curve of complexity.
In the middle, there’s a lot of complexity and the X-axis marks time, whereas the Y-axis that’s going north and south, the Y-axis is complexity. We start not complex at all and we have little responsibility. We do the things that we want to do as children. At least I know I did. Thanks to my parents. I had a great childhood and then as we grow older, things become complex. We do things we don’t want to do.
We go to work not because we want to but because we have to feed our families, feed ourselves, pay the rent, pay the mortgage or pay our debts. The complexity goes back down in our old age because on the X-axis, that’s what the time looks like. Wisdom is simplicity on the far side of complexity. Knowledge is simple. Wisdom is simple. Knowledge is on the near side of complexity of that curve and wisdom is on the far side of complexity of that curve.
Probably the most quoted Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was Oliver Wendell Holmes. If you’ve never heard of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, you can look him up on Wikipedia. The date of his birth was March 8, which is one day before my birth date, March 9. He was born in the 1800s, about 120 years before I was born. He has a great quote that I often utter on stage and I have it up on my wall. I have quotes everywhere, by the way.
[bctt tweet=”Commitment is a part of consistency because if you’re not committed, you can’t be consistent. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
If you ever come to my office as a $30,000 client for my Clear Path Coaching program or as an author for beyond book sales campaigns, you’ll see quotes everywhere. If you ever made it to my home, you’d see quotes everywhere there as well. My children make fun of me because most people have pictures and portraits but I have quotes. They’re wisdom in a few words. In fact, there’s always an Alexism in every episode. That’s about wisdom.
It took me 25 years to come up with those Alexisms but you can read the whole book in 25 minutes. At least, that’s what my mother told me. Hopefully, you’ll read it again and again because there’s more wisdom as you learn and you become a new person. You’ll get more from that quote. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on the near side of complexity but I would give my life for simplicity on the far side of complexity.”
I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on the near side of complexity, which is knowledge. The knowledge of the basics of tying a shoe, remembering history or saying thank you, although thank you could be argued that’s wisdom because I don’t always hear it. Wisdom is simplicity on the far side of complexity and Holmes said that he would give his life for that.
Six Principles Of Influence
Robert Cialdini, who’s been a friend of mine and I’ve interviewed him a couple of times, wrote a book called Influence. Originally, it was designed for the consumer to protect themselves and it didn’t sell well. He offered Six Principles of Ethical Influence. By the way, the ethical influence of the wise man, consistency is one of those principles. The book didn’t do well many years ago because it was designed to protect the consumer.
Once it was directed towards the marketer or the salesperson who was ethical, then it was a runaway bestseller. He’s written many books. It’s odd because when marketers had all these arrows in their quiver to utilize six of them, specifically, these Principles of Ethical Influence worked. It’s good as consumers because we’re consumers as well for you to understand when people are doing those things to you.
The six principles of influence are number one, reciprocity. Number two, scarcity. Number three, authority. Number four, and this is the big one for me, consistency. That’s being committed to being consistent time after time, as the wise man in the story. It used to be called consistency and commitment but then over the past few years, it’s just consistency. Commitment is a part of consistency because if you’re not committed, you can’t be consistent.
Number five is liking and number six is consensus, also known as social proof. They’re quite profound when you utilize them and you can utilize it in your marketing and sales. It doesn’t matter if you service business or manufacturing. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in or if you’re a product salesperson on Amazon.
Go to Google and look up the Cialdini’s Six and you’ll see him. My mentor, Roy H. Williams, who started Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas with his wife, Pennie, I have had an event there called Pathfinder Mastermind. I’ve consistently held it there for every year since 2011. Through that consistency and commitment of being willing not to make any money because it’s a not for-profit event, it cost me about $40,000 with the food, gifts and renting out the campus.
I have Roy speak for me as well, which is rare so I’m grateful for that. I get my money back but I invite friends and some strangers. I typically don’t let people go there more than two times in a row because I want variability. Instead of having it as a speaker event, there’s little speaking and teaching done and there’s a lot of networking done. That’s consistency and that’s a commitment to building relationship capital.
Consistency is the most powerful of the six. If you were to ask Dr. Cialdini, he would probably say there’s a six-way tie for first place when it comes to his Principles of Influence. What Roy says is passion doesn’t produce commitment. Commitment produces passion. Think about that. Commitment is about consistency. Getting up and doing what you need to do every morning as a ritual. You have discipline and it turns into a habit then it’s ritualized, whether it’s meditation, reading, writing or working.
Passion is overrated. Passion doesn’t produce commitment. Commitment produces passion. My good friend, T Harv Eker says, “First you need the wood then you get the fire.” Commitment is the wood and passion is the fire. The reason I say passion is overrated is that this comes from another friend of mine, Darren Hardy, who has his own podcast, which I recommend that you listen to. It’s called DarrenDaily.
He’s an awesome content provider and wise marketer. He’s younger than I am and it’s annoying because he knows so much and he’s interviewed some of the greatest thought leaders. He runs as the publisher of Success Magazine, which has an incredible lineage of publishers in the past. With passion, Darren talks about over-motivated underachievers.
Are you passionate and unhappy? Are you passionate and not getting the results that you know you deserve? I know some people who are passionate about being suicidal and it’s not funny. Are you over-motivated as an underachiever? Chances are you’re not committed consistently to get the job done. Another friend of mine, Tucker Max, because for his clients and students for Scribe Media, he has what’s called a writing plan.
He grooms authors, not writers, to utilize a book as a marketing tool to grow their business. Not just to have a best-selling book like a Malcolm Gladwell or a Seth Godin, but to use the book as a marketing tool as I plan to do. His writing plan suggests writing only about 250 words a day. Can you write more? Of course, you can. If you set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour and write 250 words a day, you’ll have a 30,000 or 40,000-word book which is about 200 pages in less than six months.
It’s doing it consistently but yet being committed to doing that year after year. Ambition requires less discipline. You can be mentally sharp to be a bank robber. You can be inventive. You can have this keen intelligence of having a criminal mind but you’re not wise because there’s always the cover-up. Look at politics. It’s not what’s done that’s difficult. It’s the cover-up but that comes up afterward. Ambition is rooted in knowledge but humility is rooted in wisdom.
The Four Laws Of Karma
Although it sounds biblical and maybe a little woo-woo for you, seek wisdom and not knowledge. By applying the knowledge consistently and being committed to knowledge, wisdom will find you. I want to end with a model, which mimics nature and it’s called the Four Laws of Karma. Karma is a Sanskrit term, probably born somewhere in India. Sanskrit was a spoken language, not a written language.
You’ve heard of karma and karmic marketing is an episode that I taught in a previous All Selling Aside episode. I encourage you to look it up. I shy away from using the word karma because many of my friends who are in marketing are hardcore and they look at it as woo-woo or too spiritually-based. Why don’t we call it the Four Laws of Nature or if you don’t mind, from the Far East, the Four Laws of Karma? Here they are because they’re important in gaining wisdom.
I hope this is helpful to you because if you go back and reread this, you’ll see that there’s a lot of wisdom in what I’m saying. I know what not to do and some of the mistakes I’ve made as being too ambitious and too fast, I’ve lost relationships as a result.
[bctt tweet=”Passion is overrated. Passion doesn’t produce commitment. Commitment produces passion. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
Law number one is the Law of Expansion. This law states that everything big was once small. The giant oak tree, many tons heavy, was once an acorn. A watermelon was once a watermelon seed. A giant apple tree was once an apple seed. In the Law of Expansion, you can have the same argument for the universe. The universe is expanding. Science tells us and once, it was smaller than it is today.
Number two, the Law of Likeness. What does that mean? The likeness is that only an apple seed can grow into an apple tree. An apple seed doesn’t grow into a pear tree. An apple seed doesn’t grow into a watermelon or an apple seed doesn’t turn into a human being. A human seed doesn’t turn into a dog. The Law of Likeness is a Law of Nature.
For example, if you’re attempting to build a community that’s highly engaged then you want to bring in like-minded people with that idea. Likeness means that if you have a service business, manufacturing things may not serve your needs. For example, if you want to build a big list of potential buyers, your technique will be different from what you do with existing buyers to make them stick for life and grow their lifetime value.
The Law of Likeness is building the lifetime value of your client, customer, patient or member, whatever you call it. Remember, an apple seed grows into an apple tree, not into a pear tree. Expansion is everything big was once small. If you want to have it happen too quickly, you’ll go broke as I did in 1989. That was the first episode when I talked about polar frozen yogurt and how I lost all of my grandparents’ money and how I was influenced unethically to have my mother’s house go into foreclosure.
It wasn’t taken over by the Small Business Administration, which had a lien on that house. It eventually was taken out because I ethically did whatever it took to get out of that mess for my mom. It was difficult for me to go through that because I wanted, through my ambition, fast success. There’s an old saying, “When you ascend the mountain of prosperity, may you do it slowly.”
There is the Law of Effect, that’s number three and the Law of Cause, that’s number four. Many people confuse the two so let me go through each one carefully. Number three, the Law of Effect means that every cause has an effect. If you are at the effect, that effect is going to have an impact on you but there was a cause to it.
What did you do? Did you bet too much on one horse and you lost a bunch of money, and the effect is now you have no money? Did you bet everything on one hand of poker? Did you bet the farm on your business and now you have nothing to show for it? Did you grow gradually and you went after the market first before creating your message or buying media and now you have an effective and scalable business? That’s a great effect to have.
Each cause has an effect so whatever you’re putting into a cause into motion is going to have an effect. Ask yourself, “What’s that effect going to be in 1 year, 10 years, 1 month or tomorrow?” That’s the Law of Effect. The Law of Cause is every effect has a cause.
Wherever you are, there was a cause to it. Whatever you’re causing now will have an effect so look into the future. Every effect has a cause. It means looking into the past. What was the cause? Is there a root cause, as they say, that caused the effect I’m in?
Alexism: Servant Leadership
The Alexism for this episode is that social influencers are command and control no longer. They’re all about engaging and enrolling. Social influencers replace the command and control management style with the engage and enroll servant leadership style. Servant leadership is leading from behind.
If you’re going to be a social and ethical influencer, commanding and controlling is one way to lead but that’s leading by fear. Engaging and enrolling is taking yourself out of the equation and supporting your team so that you can grow bigger and better, and you do it on your own terms with freedom.
Here’s a review of the insights you and I both rediscovered in this 64th episode of All Selling Aside and I want you to apply them. Number one, authority earned gradually is ethical but if it’s earned instantly, it’s often unethical. Ethical is the wise man in the Middle Eastern village. Unethical is the young man who attempted to humiliate that wise man. It was ambition.
Number two, you learned why the principle of consistency is a powerful way day after day and it requires commitment because commitment produces passion. Passion doesn’t produce commitment. If you’re passionate, you may end up as an over motivated underachiever. A tip of the hat goes to Darren Hardy. Finally, I talked about wisdom definition.
The definition of wisdom, thanks to Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., is simplicity on the far side of complexity, that’s versus knowledge, and how it can often conflict with ambition, which wants instant gratification, so be careful. Put your ambition at bay, allay your ambitious tendencies. As an adult, I do many things that I don’t want to do but I do them for my children, former spouse, partner, team and myself. I do many things I don’t want to do. I’d show up and I’m committed to things consistently.
I don’t want to do them. As a young child, I did whatever I wanted to do because my parents would do the things that they didn’t want to do, but did them anyway. That’s the difference between a child and an adult. Children do what they want to do because they can. As we mature, we do things that we don’t necessarily like to do but we do them anyway through the ability to respond. That’s called responsibility.
Remember, these insights will only work for you if you work them and please make sure you execute and apply what you’ve learned. Otherwise, you just have knowledge. Wisdom comes with applied knowledge.
This All Selling Aside episode is important. If you follow some of the principles that I’ve taught whether it’s the Cialdini’s Six, Roy H. Williams’ quote, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s quote or the Four Laws of Karma or Nature, your future in your business and your personal life will be bigger. It will look brighter and you’ll get to create it on your own terms.
Speaking of reviews, if you’ve already given me a review on iTunes or on Stitcher, then write down your biggest takeaway, big win or a-ha moment you had on this episode. Write it on an index card and hold on to it so you can review it.
[bctt tweet=” Wisdom comes with applied knowledge. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
If you haven’t given me a review on iTunes then simply go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes and write your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment in the review section. iTunes will ask you for a review but I want a specific a-ha, not a general watered-down version of what you think of the show. I don’t want you to review the show. I want you to give me specifics about this episode or any other episode where you have taken back a lot of value. Give your a-ha moment in the review section. It will mean a lot to me.
Once you do that, iTunes will ask you to rate this episode. I do hope I’ve earned five stars from you and when you rate it, review it and you want to subscribe to it, you will get many years of sales and marketing know-how delivered to you via iTunes week after week in 25 minutes or less. Rating, reviewing and subscribing it will take three minutes out of your day but what you declare could provide you and others reading your review, valuable learning insight and wisdom.
Go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes and please take three minutes to do that. You’ll be glad you did and I’ll appreciate it. I have one final gift to give you in honor of the 64th episode of All Selling Aside. It’s a free physical copy of my Amazon bestselling book, Alexisms. On top of that, you’ll get free instant access to the most reliable marketing funnel that can triple the profit of any physical offer that you make, especially a free offer like a book.
You’ll experience that funnel as you go through it until the end if you buy the book but you’ll get it no matter what after you opt-in with a video tutorial of how the funnel works step-by-step. Go to MarketingOnline.com/book and you’ll get the funnel. It won’t cost you $50,000 or $55,000 like I did for me in learning how to make it work on Facebook and how to payout. I’ve already done all that for you and it’s all there in a flowchart with a tutorial.
Plus, you’ll get a book and there are some other goodies that you get at high discount rates when you go through that funnel so check it out. That does it for this episode. I do hope our paths cross again for All Selling Aside. This is the show dedicated to making you an ethical influencer and more importantly, to bring more certainty into your personal and professional life. Do whatever it takes to join me next episode because our topic is Profitable Down Selling Tips.
Many people believe upselling is the thing. You start low then go high. No. Stop. Bad. It doesn’t work as well as the gravity pole of the Law of Contrast, which is another Robert Cialdini term where you down-sell. Upselling is hard and down selling is easy. Start high then go low and I’ll show you how to do it in our next episode. That’ll be episode number 65.
I encourage you to invite a friend or a colleague or bring your team if you have one. If you have a vendor or supplier, invite them here because nothing is as fun as learning with a study buddy on All Selling Aside. I can’t wait to connect with you then. It will be super fun and you’ll love that episode. I want you to join us with your study buddy. I can’t wait for our paths to cross then.
Links and Resources:
- Relationship capital – past episode
- Wizard Academy
- Pathfinder Mastermind
- Scribe Media
- Karmic marketing – past episode
- First episode – Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur
- Stitcher – All Selling Aside
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