Bibliophile | Reality star George Mladenov on ‘How to Win Friends and Manipulate People’

How to Win Friends and Manipulate People
By George Mladenov
HarperCollins

How many contestants can you name from the Channel 10’s Survivor series?

I got to know George as a two-time competitor on Australian Survivor. Not that I had been watching either Australian Survivor: Brains versus Brawn or Australian Survivor: Heroes versus Villains, but the promo ads kept showing King George as being targeted for elimination and he was surviving again and again. I had to see how he was doing it.

Now George has written a book to take people into his Survivor journey and share how he learnt to believe in himself and stop giving people what he thought they wanted. In the process, he became a loveable villain who delighted everyone with his manipulating tactics and had (almost) everyone barracking for him.

Using stories from his life’s journey, George now shares anyone can be a hero and a villain at the same time, and how to win at the simple game of life. He wants to inspire readers to have confidence to make smart tactical decisions to get the best outcomes for themselves without alienating themselves from those around them.

Dedicating his book to his parents and the Bankstown community, he writes how he is grateful to have grown up in the Western suburbs of Sydney. It was here that he learned accept difference and to “look after his people” – because the people you surround yourself with are your best asset.

Having gained a law degree and worked in politics as a trusted advisor, he also developed skills as a poker player. This background helped him to be able to control situations, control outcomes and control people “with a smile that guarantees loyal followers”.

Believing that offence is often better than defence, George relates instances where a threat, delivered in a non-threatening manner, has meant that he has been able to get his way. It is all about disarming your enemies and making sure they have nothing against you. Which is why he is out and proud to his family, friends, colleagues and cast mates.

George says, “I’m not preachy about my sexuality; it’s a part of me, but not all of me. In fact, I wouldn’t even be addressing it in the book if it wasn’t for the simple reason: that a secret loses its power as soon as it is spoken.”

He points out that there are no short cuts or cheap tricks. People have to do the work and get out of their comfort zones, and the tactics he suggests work just as much in a game of poker as they do in a meeting with a boss.

So – how many contestants can you name from the Survivor series? If George is one of them, get to know how he managed to be so memorable by reading his book.

Lezly Herbert


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