The 48 Laws of Power book Author says the feeling of having no power over people and events is generally unbearable to us—when we feel helpless we feel miserable. No one wants less power; everyone wants more.
The 48 Laws of Power By Robert Greene
The Summary of 48 Laws of Power By Robert Greene
Author says power is essentially amoral and one of the most important skills to acquire is the ability to see circumstances rather than good or evil. Power is a game—this cannot be repeated too often—and in games you do not judge your opponents by their intentions but by the effect of their actions.
Power is a social game. To learn and master it, you must develop the ability to study and understand people. As the great seventeenth-century thinker and courtier Baltasar Gracián wrote: “Many people spend time studying the properties of animals or herbs; how much more important it would be to study those of people, with whom we must live or die!”
Law 1 : Never Outshine the Master
Author says those who attain high standing in life are like kings and queens: They want to feel secure in their positions, and superior to those around them in intelligence, wit, and charm. It is a deadly but common misperception to believe that by displaying and vaunting your gifts and talents, you are winning the master’s affection
Author says everyone has insecurities. When you show yourself in the world and display your talents, you naturally stir up all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity. This is to be expected. You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.
Law 2 : Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to use your Enemies
A Chinese proverb compares friends to the jaws and teeth of a dangerous animal: If you are not careful, you will find them chewing you up.
When you decide to hire a friend, you gradually discover the qualities he or she has kept hidden. Strangely enough, it is your act of kindness that unbalances everything. People want to feel they deserve their good fortune.
Know how to use enemies for your own profit. You must learn to grab a sword not by its blade, which would cut you, but by the handle, which allows you to defend yourself. The wise man profits more from his enemies, than a fool from his friends.
Law 3 : Conceal Your Intentions
Author says most people are open books. They say what they feel, blurt out their opinions at every opportunity, and constantly reveal their plans and intentions. They do this for several reasons. First, it is easy and natural to always want to talk about one’s feelings and plans for the future.
If you yearn for power, quickly lay honesty aside, and train yourself in the art of concealing your intentions. Master the art and you will always have the upper hand. Basic to an ability to conceal one’s intentions is a simple truth about human nature.
Hide your intentions not by closing up (with the risk of appearing secretive, and making people suspicious) but by talking endlessly about your desires and goals just not your real ones.
Law 4 : Always Say Less than Necessary
Author says Saying less than necessary is not for kings and statesmen only. In most areas of life, the less you say, the more profound and mysterious you appear. By saying less than necessary you create the appearance of meaning and power. Also, the less you say, the less risk you run of saying something foolish, even dangerous.
Author says power is in many ways a game of appearances, and when you say less than necessary, you inevitably appear greater and more powerful than you are. Your silence will make other people uncomfortable.
Law 5 : Court Attention At All Cost
Author say mysterious people put others in a kind of inferior position—that of trying to figure them out. To degrees that they can control, they also elicit the fear surrounding anything uncertain or unknown. All great leaders know that an aura of mystery draws attention to them and creates an intimidating presence.
If your social position prevents you from completely wrapping your actions in mystery, you must at least learn to make yourself less obvious. Every now and then, act in a way that does not mesh with other people’s perception of you.
Law 5 : Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Your Arguments
Author says In the realm of power you must learn to judge your moves by their long-term effects on other people. The problem in trying to prove a point or gain a victory through argument is that in the end you can never be certain how it affects the people you’re arguing with.
Words are a dime a dozen. Everyone knows that in the heat of an argument, we will all say anything to support our cause. We will quote the Bible, refer to unverifiable statistics. Who can be persuaded by bags of air like that? Action and demonstration are much more powerful and meaningful.
Law 6 : Learn to Keep People Dependent On You
Author says the ultimate power is the power to get people to do as you wish. When you can do this without having to force people or hurt them, when they willingly grant you what you desire, then your power is untouchable.
To make others dependent on you, one route to take is the secret-intelligence tactic. By knowing other people’s secrets, by holding information that they wouldn’t want broadcast, you seal your fate with theirs. You are untouchable.
Do not be one of the many who mistakenly believe that the ultimate form of power is independence. Power involves a relationship between people; you will always need others as allies, pawns, or even as weak masters who serve as your front.