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Many of my friends recommend Robert Cialdini’s Influence, a book about how to be persuasive and successful.I read a most of the way through, and it was okay, but I didn’t have it in me to finish the whole thing.It’s not that being persuasive and successful doesn’t sound pretty neat.

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Robert Cialdini’s Wikipedia page says “He is best known for his book Influence“.

Since its publication, he seems to have spent his time directing an institute to spread awareness of techniques for success and persuasion.

At the risk of being a little too cynical – a guy knows the secrets of success, so he uses them to…write a book about the secrets of success?

If I knew the secrets of success, you could bet I’d be doing much more interesting things with them.

All the best people recommend Cialdini, and his research credentials are impeccable, but I can’t help wondering: if he’s so smart, why isn’t he God-Emperor?

Donald Trump is also not God-Emperor, but he’s at least sort of on the short-list for the position.I knew that Trump wrote his own book on success and persuasion back in 1988 – Trump: The Art of the Deal – and I wondered if it might not be the anti-Cialdini.Trump is no psychology expert, but he’s sure done well persuading people in real life.After a few months of attributing his victories to blind luck, most people have accepted Scott Adams’ hypothesis that he’s really a “master persuader”.Salon, Daily Caller, Bill Maher, and the Economist all use the word “genius”.The less you respect Trump’s substance – and I respect it very little – the more you’re forced to admire whatever combination of charisma, persuasion, and showmanship he uses to succeed without having any.

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