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Why Jonar wrote How to Lose Friends…

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Jonar Nader explains the reasons and motivators behind writing ‘How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People’. He speaks about corporate cancer, corporate bullies, and the manipulators. The audio contains background noise due to the location. Further below is a transcript of the video.

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Here is the transcript:

Female: What sort of – it’s been eight years writing a book, what motivated you to write this book because you’ve done a lot of other things, and we’ll approach sort of later on in the interview.

Jonar Nader: Yes.

Female: I mean, why did you write this book?

Jonar Nader: Well, I lecture a lot and I give a lot of public speeches. And in so doing, I could reach five hundred to a thousand people at the time and that was really pretty small going. When I found so many people wanted more and I felt that the book was an opportunity to actually get to more people in a – in economical way time wise. But I started to write the book because I actually felt that so many people wanted more information when I sparked this interest. But it was born out of frustration. It was born out of anger.

When I finally saw the truth of how manipulative corporate life is, how stupid Wall Street is, how we all waste our time, and when I saw the bullies in the backseat of the bus sitting in the boardroom now, dressed in their lovely suits and they are now bullies dressed in fancy suits and I thought, what has changed? Everything is different but nothing has changed. The weakest element still wins. The most corrupt still gets to the top. The biggest crawlers still manage to, you know, manipulate everything else. And I thought nothing has changed. I left school at 14 because I couldn’t stand it there and here I am in corporate life, now I’ve got bullies and I have to be diplomatic. At least in school you could punch somebody and say, ‘Get out of the way.’


Jonar Nader: Now, you have to write a memo and go through the protocol you know. Protocol. And the thing that motivates me was that I realized all the wisdom of life that is hype is useless. They talked about patience is a virtue. Horrible. You know, only half true because impatience is pretty good too. If someone is wasting your life and abusing you, the quicker you become impatient, the better it is for everyone concerned, you know. Tolerance is a virtue. No, because we tolerate stupidity in the work environment, corporate cancer, liars, backstabbers, and they go, ‘Oh well, you know, he’s the boss’ pet or he’ll soon get promoted.’ No one get sacked anymore, they just get promoted. When they get promoted, you clapped meaning goodbye and good riddance and they go up higher in the tree and make everyone else miserable.

So, all these things, they just keep coming. Also, I realized that we need to understand opposites. We know about focus and people say be focused. But you also have to be aware but focus and awareness are opposites but you have to do them simultaneously. We’re often taught to do things in chunks, in punctuated movement. But you have to simultaneously be focused while aware. You have to be logical. And some of us are creative. You have to do both simultaneously and attain a new level of thinking, you know.

And so, in this world there’ll be intangibles and tangibles. You need to understand the opposites. I have therefore found that – in my search, I found things that other are yearning for. So, I put it in a book and it’s going really well and it’s just scary. I get fan mail everyday. Today, just here at Whitcoulls, a lady said, ‘Are you Jonar?’ And she looked at me. Of course, I wouldn’t know her face. She wouldn’t have known mine but we’ve been corresponding through email. She had a tear in her eye. She had a lump in her throat because she said thanks for your kindness because I sent her a few words of encouragement and gave her a bit of strength.

Female: That sort of made me feel good.

Jonar Nader: She resigned her job. Yes, and she’d resigned her job. She worked for a huge corporation. She was telling me of the manipulation. She said, ‘What do I do?’ And – and you know, she did it. I didn’t do anything. But I was a stranger out of the – out of the six billion people in the world, this lady here in Wellington happened to send an email to this kid in Sydney and now, we just met by accident and …

Female: She rolls up to Lambton Quay Whitcoulls.

Jonar Nader: Yes. She didn’t know I was going to be here and that’s the power of the author. And I think that authors, the word author means authority. And I don’t like it when authors write books that are just anecdotes.

Female: Yes. You mentioned that in your book and the three guys.

Jonar Nader: Yes. All that are just be kept brochures. All they do is they promote the corporations they’ve worked for, their clients, they’re going about how wonderful this corporation is or that corporation is. Yes, fine. That’s a story. But go to the best magazines in the world and pull out the best of anecdotes and give you – and you read the bibliographies at the back of books and you’ll know what you’re reading. You’re reading Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and ten other books.

Female: But what makes this book differently?

Jonar Nader: One is that I don’t have an axe to grind. I don’t have a client to promote. In fact, not a single company is mentioned in my book, not a single person is mentioned in my book. So, it’s got nothing to do with – with someone else and the, you know, trying to promote someone else. The second thing is that it actually doesn’t give you the solutions but it helps you to ask the right questions and until you learn to do that, you can’t arrive at the right answers.

The other thing that’s different about it is it actually is well-researched, eight years, and not once did anyone know that I was writing a book. I think …

Female: Yes, I find that quite interesting.

Jonar Nader: Yes.

Female: You sort of plugging away in the back of the mind this whole time.

Jonar Nader: Yes. Well, the worst thing you can do is ring up a CEO and say, ‘Hey Bob, you know, I’m writing a book on leadership. Can I come and see you?’ He’ll put his best suit on and he’ll make sure, you know, he gives you the nice coffee.

Female: Sure thing, Jonar.

Jonar Nader: Yes. And then they’ll start talking about things like we here believe in teamwork. Rhetoric, Rhetoric. I actually have gone through these ages ago. When I used to work for a huge corporation and I’d opened up a magazine and I would read an article with a journalist with my CEO and the CEO was saying things that were rubbish. And I was like, ‘You liar. You just lied to the journalist. That’s not how you do it. You’re an intimidating bastard. You make people …’ I developed a twitch from my manager once. You know, it took me a year to get rid of a twitch because that’s the intimidation that they’ve spread.

You know, if I were a woman, I would have said, ‘Oh, you know, it’s because I’m a woman.’ I mean because I was young, I’d say it’s because I was young. But these people actually don’t just discriminate against women, don’t discriminate the girls back to blacks or Jews or ages, they just cold stop discriminators. And who’s going to stand up to them? Do you dare stand up to them? No, most people don’t. It just takes a few like me who put their neck on the line and when you look at the futurists of life, the Copernicus, the Galileo, the Pythagoras, these people were jailed, they’re stopped, and apprehended and they were called you’re out of line, buddy. And it’s so easy.

And someone said to me the other day, ‘How are you going to change the world?’ But you know what? I used to think changing the world meant changing everybody? I now realized, all I have to do to change the world is to change the minority because it is the minority that makes things happen. It is the few who actually lead the way.

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