48 Laws of Power

Bart, the real power behind our home

Power is something most people want but don’t really understand well.  My definition of power is:

The ability to make something happen

Pretty simple, right.  And, everyone, believe it or not, is powerful in some way.

The most powerful person isn’t always immediately apparent.  Someone might act like top dog but not be; you have to look hard to see who’s the alpha.  For instance, the most powerful person on a airplane is???   The crying baby.  Passengers and parents will do anything to shut the kid up.  Junior is influencing others and making things happen.  Not good things but powerful nonetheless.

There are no gimmicks to being powerful in your business but there are rules.   My chief rule:

Use your power wisely!

Know that your words, glances, silence, opinions can and DO influence others.  It’s up to you to decide if that influence  will be positive or negative.

Using your power isn’t something to be cavalier or thoughtless about.  In fact, I’d say that using your influence for the good of others who you serve in your business is exactly what makes you a superhero.  As Peter Parker’s uncle said, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’.

No fooling.  I’ve taught over 1000 people to be creative problem-solvers who wield power with consideration.  Every training ended with a pledge to use their superpowers for good, not evil.  Power itself isn’t negative.  Misusing it is.

We all know a business owner who is guilty of beating their customers and employees into submission by lauding her power over people.  Not a pretty sight.  My heart fills with compassion for that person because she doesn’t know how to get what she wants or needs any other way. Imagine how hard it must be for her to live with herself.   (My basic premise is that most peple are good, want to do the right thing and just aren’t skillful enough…yet to do it.  What’s yours?)

Different set of rules

I came across the 48 Laws of Power, compiled by Robert Greene, when I was thinking about my own rules.  He pulled the list from a variety of sources including, Machavelli.  I do not agree with much of this list- just to be clear.

Still, the list  intrigued me  because it exists.  And, I could see how someone (maybe you) could be fooled into thinking that this is the way to influence others and get ahead in business.   If I had a dollar for every time someone asked for for the secret to negotiating power.   No secrets. No gimmicks.   Just the right intention ( to do well for all) and right skills.  No worries, though. I got you covered in posts to come.

For now, here’s the first five of Robert’s 48 Laws of Power  with my commentary alongside.  Believe me, I’m holding in a mighty rant about this list. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


5 Laws of Power …revised

  • Never outshine the master …

Help others shine.  Some of that brilliance is bound to reflect on you.

  • Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies.

Nobody succeeds alone.  Make business friends you deeply trust and learn how to see the friend in an enemy.  Just because someone poops on you doesn’t mean she’s out to get you.

  • Conceal your intentions.

Say what matters most to you.  If you don’t share your true intentions and goals, how can you hope to find solutions that truly work.  This takes real courage.  Do it because it will free you in ways you can’t imagine now.

  • Always say less than necessary.

Say what’s necessary and be ready to explain.  Listen more than you talk; we have two ears and 1 mouth for a reason.

  • So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life.

Be who you say you are then strive to be better.  My dad used to say the only thing a person truly owns is their name, meaning their reputation  Be tenacious about keeping your word and protecting your reputation and brand.

Oh, there are more douzys on the list.  This is a good start, though.  What do you think?  As always, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.


PS Who’s that glamorous gorgeous girl in the picture, you ask?  That’s Bart- she’s the real powerhouse around here!

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Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. Dina
    4 years ago

    Hey Danny thanks so much for responding. Great thing is, we don’t have to agree. If these laws work for you- terrific. The laws don’t work for me as written because they don’t favor connection or trust. I’m all about being fearless but I’m guessing I approach it differently than the 50th Law.

  2. Danny
    4 years ago

    like it or not the “laws” in the 48 laws of power actually work… of course u dont have to follow the complete book word for word but they do work if done right… of course many people will totally ignore them because it goes against their socially constructed morals but at the end of the day they are clearly interested in power otherwise they wouldnt have never found out about the book.. also people criticize robert greene for this but this book is not supposed to be friendly its bold and straight to the point and honest… he has even said that he doesnt agree with every “law” and he doesnt use everyone like “crushing ur enemy completely” … robert greene also isnt a completely corrupt and evil guy like he might come across to some after reading the book… he also has “the 50th law” which is a great book on how to overcome fears and be “fearless”… and his new book “mastery” also helps people become who they want to be in life and master a career and uses modern examples like manny pacquiao as well as older ones like charles darwin.. overall this book works u can try and put ur friendly and helpful spin on it but that doesnt change anything… this can also help people defend themselves from people who use these laws… btw ill just give 1 example of a rule that i saw somebody talk about before saying its stupid… the law “Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies” is actually very true as believe it or not people who are in any way connected with u can gain an amount of jealousy… “enemies” always perform because they wanna prove themselves… and its not like somebody who hates u… more like competition… like as an example in the 90′s apple was about to go out of business… microsoft and apple were competing against each other and seen as “enemies” but microsoft helped them out and they partnered together and both companies benefited from this… some people misinterpret these laws and take a lot of things said to far and literal.. btw im sorry for the long comment and the grammar… doing this on a tablet and im not writing an essay lol

  3. stef
    5 years ago

    It’s been so long since I read the book! I remember finding it really fascinating at the time. I’ll have to dig it out again.

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