IVP - Strangely Dim - How I Shall Seize Control of My Company

February 20, 2004

How I Shall Seize Control of My Company

By David A. Zimmerman

Call me Absalom--that's the name of the role model for my upward mobility.

Wait--I'll save you some needless Googling. Absalom is a prince of ancient Israel, a son of King David who temporarily usurped his father's throne. You can read about him in 2 Samuel, which you can find at www.biblegateway.com.

Anyway, Absalom successfully unseated the most popular king of Israel's then two-king history, which makes him a highly practical model for my own naked ambition.

Now, banking on the likelihood that nobody who might challenge my meteoric rise to the top actually reads Strangely Dim, I'll share my strategy with you so you can pray for me and even apply it to your own relentless pursuit of power. Absalom made his play in three simple acts.

1. Absalom acted nicer than everyone above him; therefore I shall act nicer than everyone above me. Absalom and his father each won the hearts of the people at different times. David did it by being just a little bit crazy; Absalom did it by being a "man of the people."

This will be a bit difficult for me, since I actually am a little bit crazy, and the people above me are actually very nice. (Wink, wink--just in case they do read this.) Nevertheless, one of the cool things about being out of power is that the people in power have to make all the difficult decisions and (this is important) announce those decisions. I can simply commiserate with those affected by the decisions and "let them know I'm there for them." This was Jerry Seinfeld's strategy as he courted a woman in a troubled relationship; eventually he moved from "being there for her" to "being there." Brilliant.

2. Absalom acted smarter than everyone above him; therefore I shall act smarter than everyone above me. Absalom had opinions about everything, and his opinions usually made his audience feel better about themselves. Since I don't have to make the decisions for my company, I'm free to critique the decision-makers from the sidelines. This, by the way, is also my principal strategy for taking over my church.

3. Absalom recruited his father's staff and even slept with his father's harem. I'm reasonably confident that the powers that be in my company don't have harems, but there are plenty of other ways I can contribute toward a polarized work environment. Ask anyone. Once I take over, people will quickly shift their loyalties to me--if, that is, they know what's good for them.

That's it: three easy steps to a coup d'etat. Absalom pulled it off and enjoyed supreme power for a couple of weeks, until he was, of course, executed.

Like I said, pray for me.


Check out my secret identity at www.ivpress.com.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at February 20, 2004 8:15 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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