Thursday, July 4, 2013

Manipulate like a spy

A reader sent me this Forbes article covering the book "Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer" by former spy J.C. Carleson.

Bits from the article:
  • “When I talk about manipulation, people get squeamish,” she says. “For CIA officers, ‘manipulate’ isn’t a bad word. It’s not a cynical mindset. It’s a proactive approach to exploiting opportunities.”
  • You won’t be able to manipulate yourself into a promotion without basic competence. “I recommend that people start on paper,” says Carleson. “Establish a baseline of competence in your work product. Then build the relationships.”
  • Carleson says CIA officers attempting to recruit a spy use what they call a “hook,” which has three parts: a reason to meet once, a reason to connect and a reason to continue meeting. The same process applies when trying to connect with a decision maker, she says—but ditch the elevator pitch. Once you have their attention, she advises not to sell yourself. Instead, connect with the person based on a common interest.
  • “People tend to make decisions based on assumptions,” she says. “Understand their vulnerabilities.”
  • People like to talk about themselves, she says. By asking questions and listening carefully to the answers, you can reflect back their values as your own.


  1. these are excellent job interview tips. thanks.

  2. Because people don't understand their true natures they put on various
    faces depending on the roles they play. The problem with this is that it's
    not a resilent way to approach a living, changing life.
    The situation changes so one fraudulent "face" has to change into another.
    Living a life of lies must be very taxing. You have absolutely no confidence
    that anyone will like you unless the mask proves appealing.
    So one lie proceeds the other, the stories get grander and grander until you
    invariably make a mistake and reveal an unflattering detail about yourself.
    There was a famous singer named Merv Griffen. You might remember the name.
    He had his own talk show on T.V. and went on to become a super wealthy
    developer of game shows.
    Merv first gained fame as a balladear of romantic songs. His voice made
    the young ladies swoon, not unlike Sinatra.
    The thing of it was, nobody knew what Merv looked like. They could imagine what a gorgeous appearence went with the voice, but no one ever
    saw Merv. People, especially women, were understandibly curious.
    One day, an enterprising young lady decided to sneak into the studio to
    see Merv. She took one look at Merv and burst into hysterical laughter.
    It turns out that Merv's appearence didn't match his voice. He was a pudgy fat slob!
    Merv was tramatised. It's been said that Merv became a homosexual right
    then and there. He had platonic relationships with actresses throughout
    his life, basically handholding.
    Living lies is NOT a happy way to live. You've always got to keep your
    story straight and can't afford to slip up. May God have mercy on M.E.
    and all other sociopaths souls.

    his wonderful

    1. "Living a life of lies must be very taxing. You have absolutely no confidence
      that anyone will like you unless the mask proves appealing."

      Amen to that... well said.

  3. What a surprise, cia techniques are sociopathic

    1. the book is basicly a "how to become a sociopath handbook" it's good but it's not a shortcut and ppl are to lazy to do the work

    2. The motives should not be sociopathic...

    3. wanting to get (a)head is very sociopathic

  4. Dear M.E.,
    The following lyrics are from a song called "Reeling In The Years," by
    "Steely Dan," a rock group from the 1970s to 1990s. They specialized in
    writing songs about sociopathic women. Could this be you?

    Your everlasting summer you can see it fading fast
    So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last.
    Well you wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hand
    The things you think are precious I can't understand

    Are you reeling in the years stowing away the time?
    Are you gathering up the tears? Have you had enough of mine?

    You've been telling me you're a genius since you were seventeen
    In all the time I've known you I still don't know what you mean
    The weekend in the college didn't turn out like you planned
    The things that pass for knowledge I can't understand

    Are you reeling in the years stowing away y the time?
    Are you gathering up the tears? Have you had enough of mine?

    I spent a lot of money and I spent a lot of time.
    The trip we made to Hollywood is etched upon my mind.
    After all the things we've done and seen you find another man
    The things you think are useless I can't understand.

    You should also listen to "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," Steely Dan's
    biggest hit.

  5. Hm, I like the look of the new Forum...

    1. It is beautiful. The colours are vivid. The other was fantasy, but mixed with clinical, like a psych forum gone awry, mental institutionalesque, etc. etc

      Now it's more a playground :)

  6. More people need to be on

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to drama: that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!


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