My Notes: The Power Playbook by La La Anthony

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My Notes:

What Is Power?

Power is like being a lady . . . If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. —Margaret Thatcher 

Character is a power. —Booker T. Washington

I saw firsthand the power of building my credibility.

I learned that with power comes responsibility

The other side of that was I never knew who was being nice to me because they wanted something.

Power must be put in perspective.

People will try to use you; they will give you things, do things for you to get your attention and favor. So you have to know who you are first, or else that power can go to your head and you will think it’s all about you when it’s really only about what you can do for someone else.

Power should never be abused.

Just because you have the power to help someone, you should never use that power to hurt or control another. If you use your power for anything other than doing the right thing, it can have bad results. I heard about people losing their livelihoods and careers and even ending up in jail over payola, a prevalent abuse of power in music. It wasn’t worth it.

Embrace power in moderation.

I liked the way I felt when I could control my own destiny, when I had the connections to make the calls and get the meetings I wanted, and even when I had the power to help others. Power is contagious. The more you have, oftentimes the more you want. But for me, it was always about having the power to do things for others and myself. I wanted to be able to open doors, to make paths smoother and easier for my friends and family. I liked how that felt and I wanted to be able to do that on an even larger scale. What I knew for sure was that I never wanted to be powerless.

Everyone I know seems to have read The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. It is this generation’s version of The Prince by Machiavelli or The Art of War by Sun Tzu. This book is like a bible in the hip-hop community because it lays out how to obtain power in this world.

But for me, the real power starts with control and mastery over yourself—not anyone else.

Only through forging your own way do you find both yourself and your purpose.

You can use books like The 48 Laws of Power and even my books as guidelines, but you must figure out the path you need to take to be successful.

That’s where I had to start—figuring out what I really wanted and going through life with purpose instead of just letting things happen around me.

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want power. But many people have no clue what true power is, how to get it, and what to do with it when it is obtained.

For me, it’s simple. Power is putting yourself in a position to maximize your gifts and your purpose and execute your goals and plans. Power is something developed from within. It’s not about trying to control anyone but yourself.

Power is the strength to face the things you may be afraid to do and then doing them anyway. Power is no regrets. Power is pushing forward. Power is making the tough choices in your life, and even if you fall or fail, having power allows you to get back up and try again.

The Rules of Engagement:

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. —Albert Einstein

here are some rules I’ve learned that I believe are the keys to gaining real power—in life and in business.

Rule No. 1: Put Yourself First.

Rule No. 2: Find Your Passion and Your Purpose.

Rule No. 3: Do the Work!

Rule No. 4: Know Your Worth.

Rule No. 5: Be Gracious and Grateful.

To love me first. It’s not selfish to do that, but rather common sense.

If you don’t put yourself first, you cannot build a solid foundation for your life.

Remember my motto: No judgment.

It’s not enough to be talented. There are a lot of talented people in the world.

Hard work trumps everything.

Will Smith, to which I totally relate: “I’ve viewed myself as slightly above average in talent. And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic.”

For others to know your value, you first have to know your worth.

Only you know your true value.

Only you know what you can bring to the table.

Your worth is deeper than salary,

If you’re going to be upset, you shouldn’t be on social media.

I power my life. I don’t give away my power to others to rule my life.

I don’t need the validation of other people for me to feel good about myself or to assess what I have to offer the world.

I am enough.

Whatever you need to do, until you arrive at the place where you know in your heart that you are enough, that you are special, that you have value, you will not have power.

Punctuality means everything to me.

People hire people they like being around.

You might be the best talent for the job, but if your attitude is wrong, the person who may be a lesser talent but a greater person will get the job.

What’s Your Plan?

He who fails to plan, plans to fail. —Proverb

Having a plan or a vision is nothing unless you put power behind it.

The people you need to make your goals and visions happen aren’t just going to call you or walk up to you and hand you an opportunity. You have to go to them.

He went around the obstacle by creating a new path.

There are two ways to choose your career path: Follow others’ expectations and examples or follow your own interests, talents,and passion.

While the latter can be challenging, the first option almost always ends badly, like swapping gardening for football when your heart’s not really in it. The most successful people in the world followed their own instincts and goals to achieve greatness, even when it was difficult or everyone told them they were crazy. You have certain gifts and skills for a reason. Put them to work for you and find your own power path. Asking some key questions can help you find it.

What would you do for free?

What do you do better than other people?

When you daydream about your future, what does it look like?

How can you get there?

The Power of Fear:

Fearlessness requires attention and receptivity—it takes focus to stand in the still eye of a tornado and not be swept away by it. —Susan Piver

What separates people who are successful from people who spend their lives wishing and hoping something magical will happen but somehow never does, is fear.

most of us have fears that are simply in our heads.

Fear of failure.

That fear prevents us from taking chances, stops us from believing we can make the leap to a new career or higher position, and keeps us from acting with confidence in everything we do, both personally and professionally.

If we can conquer just that fear, many of us will see so many great things happen in our lives.

One definition of courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. Courage is the act. Power is the result of that act.

I was powerless in that moment. But when the moment passed, I learned something about fear. In that moment I had absolutely no control over the outcome. I couldn’t prevent that elephant from turning over our vehicle. I was helpless against his power. So I let go. I let go of my fears and insecurities and embraced the moment.

How often in life do we worry ourselves senseless about things over which we have no control? How often do we allow fear to keep us from experiencing something in life? How often do we allow our perception of our own powerlessness, insecurities, and weaknesses get in the way of learning something or growing?

Wake up and throw some cold water on your face and everything will be okay.”

When one area isn’t working for you, you must find another power source.

1. I left a good impression. I was not just remembered, I was missed. I worked so hard while I was there that it was easy for Mary Catherine to invite me back.

2. I left graciously. I was leaving for school, not because I was unhappy or because I found another job. But even if I had been leaving for another professional opportunity, I would have gone out in the same way. As I left, I was very thankful to Chaka Zulu, Mary Catherine, and all of the people who helped me while I was there. I let them all know how much I appreciated them. And that served me well when it was time to come back. (For more on exiting with grace, see Chapter Four.)

3. I was humble. I didn’t expect to just be hired back. I didn’t approach it with a sense of entitlement. I believe having a humble attitude goes a long way; it can be one of your greatest sources of power. For some, power is a matter of strength and overt will. But real power is often found in the little things—in your attitude and how you carry yourself. I was humble and hungry at the same time.

Power is the result of courage.

Every power player needs an accomplice, a mentor, a supporter, someone in his or her corner.

I was alone and insecure. But in that moment, I was my most powerful. You have the greatest potential for success when you’re able to overcome your fears and push through.

When I think back, most of my successes have come on the heels of being afraid to do something and then talking myself into doing it anyway.

The relationship between fear and power in most of our lives is very close.

Most of us quit or don’t try because of our fears.

One of the biggest fears most people have is public speaking.

Tips for Overcoming a Fear of Public Speaking

Know your stuff.


Look fierce.

Find a friendly face.

Speak up.

Be yourself.

The Power of Gratitude:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. —Melody Beattie

But I kept talking to myself to calm down.

I was so grateful for the opportunity that I couldn’t help but show it to everyone. And in return, I was rewarded with more opportunities.

Try these simple ways to express gratitude:

Write a note.

Create a kind culture.

Give thoughtful gifts.

Say hello.

How you leave a situation—an interview or even a job—is important. When leaving a job—even if you’re fired—it’s important that you leave with grace.

Power is the ability to maximize your opportunities, not diminish them.

Remember, your exit is as important as your entrance. This goes for jobs, personal relationships, and even professional relationships.

Saying “please” and “thank you” may seem like lost sentiments these days. But they are part of the vocabulary of every powerful person I know. Take nothing for granted and let people know you appreciate the things they do for you, no matter how small.

A kind word can change your life.

Me getting upset will just ruin my day,”

Kill Them with Kindness That’s a major power move. It disarms people—especially people who are being nasty.

But there is a difference between being liked and having power. Being a people pleaser and a doormat is being powerless. Don’t let your kindness be a weakness. Use your kindness and gratitude as a tool to get ahead. Understand the power in being nice and gracious, without giving away your power by allowing people to use you.

Be thankful, not indebted.

Don’t become a gratitude-a-holic.

Turn negativity into gratitude.

The Power of Persistence:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. —Calvin Coolidge

I know people think if they tell you what they want, you may not call them back. Well, if you don’t tell them what you want, they probably won’t call back and they’ll be annoyed with you.

There is a thin line between pest and persistence.

If you’re going to be persistent, you will probably get the opportunity you’re looking for.

Opportunities can become successes only when we take the initiative to go for it.

Persistence is also about how you process the word “no.” You need to develop the wisdom to understand when to accept a “no.” Sometimes a “no” really means “not yet.” Or that “no” could be the very thing you need to go in another direction that’s even better for you. I’ve been in a lot of situations where I’ve been told no, and by accepting the “no” I was freed up for other projects that were a better fit for me in the end.

You need to call or e-mail them until you get an answer!

We often don’t see people in power as people.

The Power of Failing:

Failing can be powerful.

Failure is success if we learn from it.”

Some people just do give up.

1. It teaches you about yourself.

2. It shows you what doesn’t work.

3. It makes you stronger.

4. It gives you understanding and empathy.

5. It makes you better.
Everyone Needs a Good Coach

A good coach also fosters trust.

When you have success that’s the best time to leverage your power.

1. Set clear goals.

2. Search outside the box.

3. Be confident.

4. Have an open mind.

5. Make it a two-way street.

Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come. —Serena Williams

I’m constantly trying to add weapons to my repertoire. I’m always in training/ learning mode.

The Uniform: Dress for Success

The first rule: Dress for success.

The Power of Your Brand

I don’t want to do anything and everything. I want to be a brand that, every time I leverage my name, I want people to feel sure that it’s going to be something good—so whether it be my movies, my perfume, my restaurant, my musical, it’ll be good work, good food, and good everything. —Shilpa Shetty

According to a recent survey, seventy percent of human resources workers admitted to checking the social media activity of a potential hire and rejecting them based on their “Internet behavior.”

Being a brand means thinking about how you want to be perceived and how you want to be treated.

Everything I do I have to think, “Does this fit with my brand?”

You have to see yourself as a brand, no matter what field you’re in.

I operate from a mentality that everyone is paying attention to everything I’m saying and doing at all times.

Power players are never satisfied. They are always hatching plans to get to the next level. They are also very conscious about shaping and building their brand to get where they ultimately want to go.

Power players understand the power of their brand.

The Crossover: Learn to Reinvent Yourself

To change the perception, I had to first change how people saw me.

I know a lot of people who let their past dictate their future options.

You will have to work to show them that you’re no longer that person. That’s your job to do.

People put people in boxes. You have to know what boxes people have you in in order to break out of them.

If you want to reinvent yourself, here’s what you can do:

See yourself the way you want to be perceived. What’s your ultimate vision for who it is you want to be?

Have a plan. You have to know how to reach that place.

What steps must you take to become the person you want people to see? Will you need special training? What will you need to eliminate or add to your character to reach your goal?

Reinforce that vision for yourself. Write down the things you want to change or become and leave notes for yourself in places where you are forced daily to see them. I believe in visual aids and even repeating phrases to yourself like, “I will master my craft.”

Surround yourself with people who honor your new self. You don’t want people dragging you down or reminding you of or feeding that negative rendition of yourself. Avoid those people like the plague.

Don’t quit. You may not always live up to this new vision you have for yourself. But don’t quit. Consistency is the key. This will be a life change. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up.

They say, fake it until you make it. That is part of reinventing yourself.

If you want to be a CEO, starting looking, acting, and sounding like a CEO.

It is so powerful to be able to change your life and change your future.

Salary Cap: Don’t Chase Money, Chase Your Purpose

Money won’t create success—the freedom to make it will. —Nelson Mandela

Whatever the number, it’s clear that it’s never really about the money, but rather it’s about the freedom or ability to do what you want because you have that money. It’s about achieving the success you set out to achieve. It’s about power. Personal power to control your own destiny, your own path, your own vision for your life.

I know people who are trying to break into certain fields, yet they are unwilling to intern or volunteer. They don’t realize the power of making connections with people who can help them reach their goals or learn valuable skills or gain valuable information.

One of the rules I live by today is to never borrow money, no matter what. Borrowing money can put you in a very awkward situation and if you can’t pay it back, it can change the dynamics of your relationship. Even if you do pay back the debt, there will always be this unequal balance in the relationship. There is the possibility that the person who lent it could hold it over your head forever.

I try to avoid lending money at all costs.

The Power of Elimination: People, Thoughts, Things

Some people are like dark clouds: when they disappear, it’s a brighter day. Know when it’s time to let go. Removing negative people from your life doesn’t mean you hate them—it just means that you love yourself more. —Anonymous

You can’t be friends with someone who wants your life. —Oprah Winfrey

Family could be the worst people in your life. You look to them for approval, understanding, and support. But some family could be your worse enemies.

My advice: Be content with you and your life. Embrace where you are and what you’re doing. And strive to find your own place. If you focus on what you’re doing and on being content with where you are in your life, there is no room for jealousy.

I used to want everyone to like me. I would do just about anything to get people to like me. As I’ve gotten older, I realize the importance of having people in my life who support me, who are positive and who empower me. I’ve also realized the power in pruning, letting go of dead weight, not having people around just to have them around.

Detox your life. Today is a new day, new beginning. Start now.”

They say people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Power players know the difference and they don’t try to keep a seasonal person around for a lifetime.

Letting go of people is a major power play. And while it may be hard initially, in the long run it will strengthen you. In addition to people, letting go of negative and unproductive thoughts is probably the most powerful thing you can do.

I have learned that thoughts are powerful.

Finally, declutter your life. Get rid of the excess baggage—emotions and thoughts that aren’t helping you. Get rid of the excess people—folks that you just have around because they’ve always been there. Get rid of the excess things—papers and files that are cluttering your work space. Clutter weighs you down and prevents you from fully moving to your next destination.

The Assist: Be a Mentor

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed. —Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich

The saying goes, “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan,”

Become a Power Mentor:

Mentoring other people has some great payoffs: You give back to others. You learn new things from your protégé. And it feels great. But being a great mentor doesn’t mean simply giving orders and telling the person you’re mentoring what to do. It’s actually a combination of listening, offering advice, and letting the person you’re mentoring figure out the best course of action on his or her own—including making some mistakes along the way. Follow these six steps to become a power mentor:

1. Share your own experiences—especially mistakes.

2. Set the ground rules.

3. Explore options.

4. Make introductions.

5. Encourage giving back.

6. Know when to let go.

Be a Power Source:

1. Listen.

2. Emphasize others’ strengths.

3. Deal with situations honestly.

4. Help them see the positive.

5. Avoid gossip.

6. Encourage action.

My Starting Five: Lessons Learned from These Power Players

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. —Helen Keller

Power says you’re prepared to do it alone if you have to. Power doesn’t depend on having someone else to rescue you.

You can’t have a winning team without a solid starting five.

The Power Within:

I definitely relate to looking inside yourself for your power.

It doesn’t matter how poor you were, if you had a bad education, if you didn’t feel loved. Whatever the case, you may have been dealt a bad hand, but how you play it is up to you. If you feel as though you don’t have enough knowledge, start reading.

I know people in real life who are rich and successful who are miserable. They are pursuing external, material, and superficial things and not working or building themselves or what’s inside.

The biggest power play in the world is understanding your own power and then unleashing it to reach your goals and follow your dreams.

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