Political leaders, actors, business-people, entertainers and even sports personalities confess their admiration for Robert Greene’s book, The 48 Laws of Power. It is a collection of guidelines that show you how to gain power and influence in any situation or environment that you find yourself in. These laws indicate the path that you can follow to amass this power, ethically or otherwise. Many readers and reviewers indicate that Robert Greene’s rules are very similar to those proposed by famous philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli. Robert Greene uses historical, factual stories to illustrate the laws in his book. Moreover, he uses philosophical sayings to further explain his content. Here are some lessons we learned from The 48 Laws of Power.
Don’t trust your friends too much and discover how to use your enemies
Trust is a very valuable quality. It should only be shared with the closest people around you. Robert indicates that you should not trust your friends too much, no matter how tempting it may be. In addition to that, you should not mix up friendship and your work for it is a sure recipe for disaster. In addition to that, the book teaches that you should place your enemies in positions where they have some influence around you. This is because they will have something to prove, excel in their work and improve your organization overall. The writer quotes Benito Mussolini in this matter. The Machiavellian leader is quoted as having said it is a good thing to trust people but distrusting them is better.
Say less than is necessary
In this rule, Robert encourages readers to stay brief when speaking about anything. He indicates that the goal should be to make your point in as few words as possible. This is so that you can avoid ruining your reputation and also avoid the mistake of revealing too much. He also indicates that saying less than you know intimidates your listeners. This makes you appear powerful.
Make other people do your work for you and then take all the credit
One of the greatest inventors in history actually mastered this rule and benefited greatly from it. His name is Thomas Edison. We all know him as the inventor of the light-bulb as well as hundreds of other inventions. However, many people don’t know that most of his work was due to the efforts of a young, brilliant scientist in his laboratory who was known as Nikola Tesla. Edison picked most of his ideas form Tesla, adjusted them and presented them to the world as his own. This made him regarded as one of the greatest inventors of all time. You can achieve this level of power too by following this rule. Also, you should learn how to avoid being used through this same rule by your superiors.
Make people become dependent on you
The common misconception is that you should align yourself with a strong boss and do their bidding so as to attain some influence in your organization. Robert Greene warns against this path. If you make a mistake, the strong boss will simply get rid of you and replace you. Instead, the author proposes a new one. He says that you should align yourself with a weak boss and then make them depend on you so much that they cannot achieve anything without you. In this situation, you firmly have the power you desire. By making other people completely dependent on you, you have the freedom to control them as you wish. Also, never teach your subordinates enough that they can live and prosper without you.
Learn how to use selective dishonesty so as to deceive anyone
Robert Greene indicates that the most effective way to deceive someone is by being selectively honest to lure them in and then manipulate them as much as need to. In his book, the author indicates that you can build up a fake relationship with someone so as to use them as you wish. This rule insists that you turn into a confidence person for your own benefit. According to Mr. Greene, one honest action can cover up for multiple dishonest ones. Honesty is ideal for bringing down the guard of suspicious people.
Act as a friend but be a spy
You may need to find out some information about someone or something. This can be personal or even professional information. The author indicates that an effective way of doing this is posing as their friend and then using their trust to probe and collect information. Mr. Greene uses the true story of the most famous art dealer of all time, Mr. Joseph Duveen. He used to befriend potential clients in social locations and covertly collect information about them. After that, he would later approach them with an art deal and impress them with his knowledge about their preferences. You can even employ some spies to find out information for you.
Utilize the art of absence to boost your respect and honor
In the book, we read the story of Deioces. He was a respected judge in his community. After serving for some time, he decided to withdraw from the society. His absence left a gaping hole in their justice system and the people sorely missed him. In fact, they missed him so much that they beckoned his return by making him their king. Robert Greene uses this story to indicate how artfully Deioces used the rule of absence to promote his honor among the people. You can do so too. The author indicates that being too common makes you appear common. Increase your value by becoming as rare as can be.
Do not commit to anything or anyone
You can make your attention valuable to those around you. One effective way of doing this is not committing to anyone. When you do this, anytime that you actually perform a task or service for someone, it appears like you have done them a huge favor. The first step to utilizing this rule is first of all cultivating an exceptional skill. After that, hint to to those around you to make them seek your attention. In doing so, you have power over them.
The Important Take Away
Ambitious people desire to be powerful. Power is the ability to have other people do what you want out of their own bidding. The 48 Laws of Power can help you to cultivate this precious commodity. There are 48 rules in it that are carefully collected and explained to help you learn how to get where you want to be. Above are some of the lessons that the book teaches us. If you want to be powerful, pick up a copy of the book and transform your future.