Portuguese missionaries tried for years to convert the people of Japan to Catholicism, but listen to the story

 In the sixteenth century, Portuguese missionaries tried for years to convert the people of Japan to Catholicism, while at the same time Portugal
had a monopoly on trade between Japan and Europe. Although the missionaries did have some success, they never got far among the ruling elite;
by the beginning of the seventeenth century, in fact, their proselytizing had
completely antagonized the Japanese emperor Ieyasu. When the Dutch
began to arrive in Japan in great numbers, Ieyasu was much relieved. He
needed Europeans for their know-how in guns and navigation, 

and here at
last were Europeans who cared nothing for spreading religion-the Dutch
wanted only to trade. Ieyasu swiftly moved to evict the Portuguese. From
then on, he would only deal with the practical-minded Dutch.
Japan and Holland were vastly different cultures, but each shared a
timeless and universal concern: self-interest. Every person you deal with is
like another culture, an alien land with a past that has nothing to do with
yours. Yet you can bypass the differences between you and hirn by appealing to his self-interest. Do not be subtle: You have valuable knowledge to
share, you will fill his coffers with gold, you will make hirn live longer and
happier. This is a language that all of us speak and understand.
A key step in the process is to und erstand the other person's psychology. Is he vain? Is he concerned about his reputation or his social standing?

 Does he have enemies you could help hirn vanquish? Is he simply motivated by money and power?
When the MongoIs invaded China in the twelfth century, they threatened to obliterate a culture that had thrived for over two thousand years.
Their leader, Genghis Khan, saw nothing in China but a country that
lacked pasturing for his horses, and he decided to destroy the place, leveling all its cities, for "it would be better to exterminate the Chinese and let
the grass grow." It was not a soldier, a general, or a king who saved the
Chinese from devastation, but a man named Yelu Ch'u-Ts'ai. A foreigner
hirnself, Ch'u-Ts'ai had come to appreciate the superiority of Chinese culture. He managed to make hirnself a trusted adviser to Genghis Khan, and
persuaded hirn that he would reap riches out of the place if, instead of destroying it, he simply taxed everyone who lived there. Khan saw the wisdom in this and did as Ch'u-Ts'ai advised.
When Khan took the city of Kaifeng, after a long siege, and decided to
massacre its inhabitants (as he had in other cities that had resisted hirn), 

Ch'u-Ts'ai told hirn that the finest craftsmen and engineers in China had
fled to Kaifeng, and it would be better to put them to use. Kaifeng was
spared. Never before had Genghis Khan shown such mercy, but then it
really wasn't mercy that saved Kaifeng. Ch'u-Ts'ai knew Khan weIl. He was
a barbaric peasant who cared nothing for culture, or indeed for anything
other than warf are and practical results. Ch'u-Ts'ai chose to appeal to the
only emotion that would work on such a man: greed.
Self-interest is the lever that will move people. Once you make them
see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause,
their resistance to your requests for help will magically fall away. At each
step on the way to acquiring power, you must train yourself to think your
LAW 13 99
100 LAW 13
way inside the other person's mind, to see their needs and interests, to get
rid of the screen of your own feelings that obscure the truth. Master this art
and there will be no limits to what you can accomplish.
Image: A Cord that
Binds. The cord of
mercy and gratitude is threadbare,

 and will break at
the first shock.
Do not throw
such a lifeline.
The cord of
mutual self-interest is woven of
many fibers and
cannot easily be
severed. It will serve
you weH for years.
Authority: The shortest and best way to make your fortune is to let people see clearly that it is in their interests
to promote yours. (Jean de La Bruyere, 1645-1696)
Some people will see an appeal to their self-interest as ugly and ignoble.
They actually prefer to be able to exercise charity, mercy, and justice,
which are their ways of feeling superior to you: When you beg them for
help, you emphasize their power and position. They are strang enough to
need nothing from you except the chance to feel superior. This is the wine
that intoxicates them. They are dying to fund your project, to introduce
you to powerful people-provided, of course, that all this is done in public,

 and for a good cause (usually the more public, the better). Not everyone,
then, can be approached through cynical self-interest. Same people will be
put off by it, because they don't want to seem to be motivated by such
things. They need opportunities to display their good he art.
Da not be shy. Give them that opporttinity. It's not as if you are conning them by asking for help-it is really their pleasure to give, and to be
seen giving. You must distinguish the differences among powerful people
and figure out what makes them tick. When they ooze greed, da not appeal
to their charity. When they want to look charitable and noble, da not appeal to their greed.

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