I remember the day I met Michael Masterson for the first time. I was a young, rambunctious editor at the Taipan Research Department, not quite thirty. During my tenure, I had faced down a number of superiors, publishers, and consultants who had intended to meddle with what I considered “my business” … the development of our newsletter’s editorial platform and the trading philosophy of Taipan. Never one to avoid a confrontation, I was geared up to fight tooth and nail against whatever harebrained idea this new consultant was about to impose on my product.

Only he didn’t. I left the meeting bemused if not downright befuddled. Because Michael had skillfully played the ball back into my court. He had no problem with whatever I planned to do with Taipan … if I was able to come up with a viable vision (not, mind you, “vision statement”!) for the business and was willing to put in the elbow grease to make it work. That day, I turned from an editor into a publisher.

The years that followed were tough. The learning process I embarked on made my university education look like a summer picnic with the Montessori kindergarten. Michael guided, questioned, drove, pulled, advised, critiqued, nitpicked, built up and tore down … many hours a week at first, a few hours a year these days. Taipan turned from an investment letter with three editors and a dozen stringers into the Taipan Group, a publishing business with over a dozen services that each employ more talent than we mustered back in the early days.

Today, I realize that Michael had expertly manipulated me right from the first moment. He had figured me out before I had closed the door behind me, intuitively grasped whatever value I had for the business, and skillfully redirected my outward-bound ambition back into myself. (It took me years of studying aikido to figure out what had happened in that half-hour.)

That’s one of the few cases in my life where I didn’t mind being manipulated. In fact, it’s been one heck of a ride!

I am not alone in my experience with Michael. In fact, I personally know dozens of people whose lives were affected this way. Some of them brought a lot of talent to the table. Others were complete screw-ups who succeeded in life despite themselves, thanks to Michael’s coaching. So when Michael asked me to review his latest book, Power and Persuasion: How to Command Success in Business and in Your Personal Life, I eagerly agreed. And there it was: Page after page, as Michael reveals his philosophy, observations, and experiences in making people succeed both in business and in private life, I found myself recognizing elements that happened to me and that are staples of Michael’s interactions with his clients and partners.

I have been able to build a wildly successful business based on what Michael has taught me. It cost me many years of grappling with his methods, many sleepless hours of figuring out just what to make of his observations and recommendations. It was worth every second of discomfort and aggravation. But what took him years to teach to me and many of my colleagues can be yours for less than twenty bucks. Power and Persuasion is a book you should own, read, and internalize – especially if you have wondered why all the glitzy, glossy business magazines you’ve been buying don’t help you out a bit. (He tells you why that is so.)

Power and Persuasion: How to Command Success in Business and in Your Personal Life not only has the Taipan Seal of Approval, but my express personal endorsement as well.

J. Christoph Amberger

Executive Publisher, The Taipan Group