Let's take the information matter. Having information others do not have is a source of power but it only works if the "others" know you have the information. The strategy here is to let people know you know but then withhold. Here is an example. At my school meetings of the appointments committee are open. Everyone can attend even someone walking by the School on the way to the grocery store. So one professor says to another who is a member of the appointments committee:
"Are we finished hiring this year?"
The other characteristic of the elites is not to commit to virtually anything that is not ultimately self-serving at some level. Recently at my school a staff person was fired. Been here for long enough for the firing to have retirement implications. Could be he/she deserved it meaning that after decades of work something happened that meant he/she was now out of bounds. I do not know but I was curious because staff firings can be based on some over-affirmed professor getting into a scuffle with a staff person. I asked some people who knew the soon to be former employee what was up. The answer was "I have to assume there were good reasons." Let's consider that response. First the idea of "having to assume" anything seems a way to avoid the issue. Precisely what would that assumption be based on? But what is really going on? This is the sort of mentality that leads to driving by an accident or ignoring an injured animal on the side of the road.
The elites are very careful which means hoard information like your grandmother stocked can goods and never questioning authority.