How to recognize dictators or dictatorships in Tennis?

javier palenque
4 min readJan 26, 2022

By Javier Palenque

In my quest to understand why do we people accept dictatorships and how do these people seize power, I came across a nice book from Frank Dikötter called “How to be a Dictator”, the author gives a good background on how eight well-known dictators came to power and seized it. This article is meant to enlighten people and see if tennis in your country is run like a democracy or a dictatorship and how does its future look under the chosen governing system for the sport. The author mentions two main instruments terror and the cult of personality. I will focus only on the cult of personality with fear implied.

Here are seven of the most common steps taken by eight of the most well-known dictators in the past one hundred years. After you read them ask yourself the following question: Is my federation run like a dictatorship? If the answer is no, great, if it is maybe, then also know this: Nothing in history is better than the competition in a capitalistic marketplace. If tennis in your country does not have competition, you have already a major problem. It is extremely hard for the market to succeed if the way the sport is run is like a centralized dictatorship. It simply cannot. Let us take a closer look at the seven points worth learning about from this author.

Step 1 Expand your power base through nepotism and corruption.

Tip: Surround yourself with yes people and pay them more than they are worth, and you can make them do what you wish. But be careful, because when they get corrupted, they may get greedy, and this may be a problem. Lots of NDA are required at the beginning.

Step 2- Instigate a monopoly on the use of your objective this way there is nothing anyone can do.

Tip: A monopoly is a bad business proposition for consumers, but a dictator does not care about consumers, he cares about power and attention, so make sure that the few magazines and media are on your side, buy lots of ads this way they will do as you please. The lesson: Any aspiring dictator who restores order, even through coercion, is likely to earn the gratitude of his people. People prefer order to chaos. Any noise will quickly go away.

javier palenque

Executive, Tennis fanatic, writer, entrepreneur. Micro brewery owner, tennis coach and fashion photographer, creative soul, life lover.