Leadership Lesson: Careful, The Art and Craft of Seduction is Everywhere

Summary: It’s easy to be flattered. The big question is, how do you respond to all the bells and whistles coming your way? Here’s what to know, so you don’t get scammed.

These days everyone is talking about the newest hits on Netflix. One is a charming male who seduces unsuspecting females (watch The Tinder Swindler). The other is a female with a penchant for attracting wealthy people to supply her with whatever she wants (watch Inventing Anna).

Indeed, it’s so easy to watch these on a screen while sipping coffee or wine and feeling secure in the fact it could never happen to you.

Except. It can.

Careful about being a cockeyed optimist.

For instance, do you know the story about the pony in the manure pile?

Once there were five-year-old twin boys.
One was a pessimist and the other an optimist.
Wondering how two boys who seemed so alike could
behave so differently; their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

Firstly, the psychiatrist took the pessimist to a room piled high
with new toys. 

Above all, he was expecting the boy to be thrilled. 

But instead, the child burst into tears. Puzzled, the psychiatrist asked,
“Don’t you want to play with these toys?”
“Yes,” the little boy bawled,
“But if I did, I’d only break them.”

The positive approach can backfire if you’re not careful 

Next, the psychiatrist took the optimist to a room piled high
with horse manure. The boy yelped with delight, climbed
to the top of the pile, and joyfully dug out scoop after scoop,
tossing the manure into the air with glee.

“What on earth are you doing?” the psychiatrist asked.

“Well,” said the boy, beaming:

              There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

                                                                                                     ~ Author unknown ~

Consequently, there is a deep desire to seek and find that pony in the manure pile in today’s world of positive psychology. 

Most importantly, please remember it’s essential to ensure that facts and happiness are aligned. 

For example, I learned this lesson in a complex and expensive way.

Several years ago, I was “deuced” (my word for seduced) by a very charming individual named Edward, who promised to give me the most unique, new ideas for becoming a force on social media. 

Moreover, while it sounded too good to be true, I was intrigued.

For example, he made outlandish promises and talked about all the people he knew who could open golden doors for me. 

It’s easier to scam people now than ever before, thanks to social media

Way too much money went into his pocket before I pulled the plug. The manure pile got too high, and nope, no pony in there. 

However, I now have excellent fertilizer to use for current projects. At least, that’s how I translated this to positive psychology.

On the other hand, I spent hours delving into what I missed. 

In addition, once my mind cleared, it gave me a short and helpful list for everyone to use so that you won’t get into a similar situation. 

I found the “pony” in the manure pile I call “The Seduction Trap.” 

The clues to being “deuced” are out there in plain sight.

I learned more about what happens in so many workplaces, to vast numbers of people, how empty promises are costly, both in money and emotional distress.

When someone can get your attention and “romances “your ego, they are halfway to the finish line.

Sadly, finding something good in the smelly adventure took some time. 

Initially, I was embarrassed that I was “deuced” and beat myself up, thinking I should have known better. 

Be careful of cotton candy promises. 

That is to say, I had to come to grips with the sweet talk about how my work would change the world that had bloated my ego. 

Further, I started to dig way down to find out what made me, and often others, so vulnerable to candy cotton promises. 

As a result, while I thought I had tamed my ego, that was not the case. Not quite.

Think back to Bernard Madoff. He was a master seducer of his investors. His charm coupled with impossible opportunities is the same as today’s scam artists. They are some of the most brilliant people on the planet.

Here is one great piece of advice I humbly offer you from my misadventure. 

Check with your gut!

Don’t ignore your second brain in your gut when things look out of whack.

If it feels odd or uncomfortable, say NO or don’t do a retainer. Hold the money till you get something for the promises.

Next, speak out. I had several people call me to be careful about this shady character. I thought they were simply sullen naysayers. Remember the adage, where there is smoke; there is fire.

Sociopaths and con artists often claim to know the “right people.”

That is to say, I met some fantastic individuals during my journey into the world of the sociopath. They called to warn me, and we are now looking together to stop this trend; yes, it is a trend.  

What is your pony? And what have you done with the fertilizer?

Let me know if you have had a similar experience and how you handled it. It’s time to become more aware of being “deuced!”

Here’s to your well-earned success,


P.S. If you would like a copy of the introduction to my short e-book “The Seduction Trap,” please email me at sylvia@ceoptions.com

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options