Power Play: If you point a gun, shoot

If you threaten to do something, then do it.

An empty threat leaves you with absolutely no power the next time around. Power Players know this, which is why they never point a metaphorical gun if they have no intention of shooting. And here’s why: Power Players know that if they develop a reputation for empty threats no one will ever believe them. Conversely, when they do make the threat, people will know they’re for real.

Don’t pull this tactic, because if you do, people will think you’re all show and not the real thing. They’ll be a bunch of times when it’s tempting to throw in a hollow threat to see how the room reacts. Do it once, they’ll flinch, do it twice and they’ll laugh at you.

Power Players train those around them to know that when they issue a threat, it’s real. And this is the smartest way to operate if you’re a Power Player. If you’re any good at it, these explosions will be few and far between. And everyone will know that, too.


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