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Elements of Influence by Terry R. BACON

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CHAPTER 12MAKING AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSEThreatening

In Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Don Corleone uses a threat to convince a bandleader to release Corleone’s godson from a contract. While henchman Luca Brasi holds a gun to the bandleader’s head, Corleone tells him that either his brains or his signature will be on the contract before they leave. The bandleader signs. Making an offer the guy can’t refuse is the godfather’s approach to influencing.

In Don Corleone’s world, might makes right. His fellow Italian Niccolò Machiavelli understood well the use of force in human affairs and also had a dim view of human nature. Machiavelli believed that men go from one ambition to another. First, they seek to secure themselves against attack and then ...

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