Using Robert Cialdini’s Five Weapons of Influence criteria, Bruce and Barry tell readers how they’ve managed to secure such a series of high powered, influential and well remunerated roles in companies like Qintex, HIH, AWB and OneTel, and how they became patrons of a variety of cultural institutions such as the Ballet and enjoy membership of some of the best Clubs in Australia.

Today, the final instalment.


Rule 10. Name Dropping

Who can prove that you don’t actually know Jamie Packer or Bill Gates? Name dropping can be used to devastating effect when used in moderation and at the right time.

For example, if you are at a dinner party with the Prime Minister and the talk comes around to technology, it is appropriate to comment that, “…when I last spoke to Bill (Gates) he told me that Windows Vista has special functions that make it easy for even politicians can use”.

Now Mr Howard, who still tells tales about when his house was first on the street with an electric toaster, will be impressed. In his mind you could well have met Bill Gates; the fact that you might know Bill Gates means you could be important and someone to know; and moreover anything to do with technology would scare him off so he will accept your assertions at face value. As a result you’ll likely be appointed to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Board on Science, Technology and Innovation, as a “well connected and experienced technology executive”.

However it would not be appropriate at a dinner party with Bill Gates to try to impress him with a story about how your Prime Minister was the first kid on the block with a toaster. This will do nothing for your career and will probably mean you won’t be invited to dinner again.