48 Laws of Power: A Brief Summary _ Rule 1-11


There is no denying the fact that the book 48 laws of power written by Robert Green enjoys a cult following. Published in the year 1998, the book remains a favorite among all who wish to know the rules of power.

To allow you to take a look into what the book elaborates on the rules of power, below we are taking a brief look into the first 11 laws.

1)   Never Outshine the Master

This suggests that you should take utmost care not to outshine those who are above you in the hierarchical level or in any other position of authority. This means that you should not display your talent in a manner that makes them feel threatened, insecure or hurt their ego in any manner.

Therefore, try to make your superior look more brilliant than they actually are so you may cut down the risk of their feeling threatened by you.

2)   Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to Use Enemies

Though you tend to place trust on your friends refrain from placing too much trust on a friend as friends are prone to feelings of envy and deceit. Of course, it is your friend who is in a position to betray and deceit you and not your enemy.

Therefore, hire enemies as they enjoy less confidence than your friends do which minimizes the risk of deceit and betrayal. Moreover, your enemy, by default, is vested with the burden of proving his loyalty to you more than your friend.

Since you have more to fear from friends who already enjoy your trust and do not feel the burden of proving anything and may easily betray you, hire an enemy for the task.

3)   Conceal your Intentions

Conceal your intentions which means refrain from revealing the explicit purpose which is guiding your action. This will empower you against any potential adversaries as they will have no clue of what you are up to which in turn will not allow them to come up with any counter strategy against you.

Rather consider guiding them to the wrong path or mislead them so by the time they may realize your intentions it may be too late for defense or counter strategy.

4)   Always Say Less Than Necessary

This rule suggests uttering fewer words than necessary even in the event you are to impress other with words. Instead of using words and resorting to eloquence to impress others use silence to intimidate others as the more you speak the more likely you are to utter something foolish. Therefore, utter less than necessary.

5)   So Much Depends on Reputation-Guard it with your Life

This suggests that your reputation should be perceived and looked as the cornerstone of power. Once your reputation precedes you it will help intimidate people and thus boost your chances.

Stay away from vulnerability which can result from tarnished reputation and thus renders you susceptible to attacks.

Similarly, stay vigilant of any attacks from any front and counter these before these translate into occurrence.  Similarly, stay vigilant of any flaws in your enemies reputation and highlight these to turn the public opinion on your side.

6)   Court Attention at all Costs

Things are noticed and judged by their appearance and something which is unseen obviously accounts for nothing. Therefore, make sure you do not get lost in the crowd rather court attention at all cost and distinct yourself from the masses by appearing more mysterious, colorful and larger than them.

7)   Get others to do the Work for you but always take the Credit

Use others to get the work done but take the credit for the work i.e. use other’s labor and intelligence to further your agenda as this assistance will not only allow you to save your energy and time but will also help you build an aura of speed and efficiency around you. It suggests that though assistance is quickly forgotten the aura will stay with you.

8)   Make Others Come to You-Use Bait if Necessary

Take control by compelling others to come to you. This way you can also compel your enemy to come and play at your home turf which in turn means that your enemy will forgo his plans and will play by your rules. Baits in this situation may take various forms including promises of advantageous gains etc.

9)   Win Through your Actions, Never Through Arguments

This suggests using your actions and not argument to win. It goes on to say that while talk is already cheap it gets cheaper when tinged with anger. The reason given suggests that the ill and resentment it generates in the heart of people would last longer than their temporary change of opinion. Therefore, focus on winning through actions rather than arguments as the win achieved through actions not only accomplishes more but also leaves little to no room for bitterness and resentment.

10)   Infection

This suggests that those who are in pursuit of power should stay away from the unlucky and unhappy. This rule goes on to state that unlucky and unhappy people with their energy draining demeanor and bad vibes are infectious and can pull you along. Therefore, hang with the successful and happy as emotional states are infectious and contagious too.

11)   Learn to Keep People Dependent on you

A very significant and integral element of power is to ensure that you keep people dependent on you. This suggests that you should ensure that people stay dependent on you for their prosperity and happiness which means that you should never teach them enough so they may do without you.


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