The 48 Laws Of Power, The Best All Time Seller Book Summary

The 48 Laws of Power by American author Robert Greene published in 1998. The book is one of the best all-time sellers, selling over 1.2 million copies in the US alone and equally popular on Amazon website.

Law 1: Never outshine the master

  • Always prioritize your superiors. Don’t exhibit your talent in front of them to make them feel inferior.
  • Always make your master appear brilliant than yourself. Show them respect.

Law 2: Never blindly trust your friends

  • Never blindly trust your friends.
  • Friends can betray you when they get a chance.
  • Make ways with your old enemies.

Law 3: Conceal your intentions

  • Guide competitors the wrong path, conceal your intentions in order to maintain the first competitive advantage in your work.

Law 4: Say less than necessary

  • When trying to impress, don’t talk too much, maintain quality over quantity in the conversations.
  • Powerful people make an impression by saying less.

Law 5: Reputation is everything

  • Reputation should be maintained at all cost.
  • Your good reputation can make you a winner alone.
  • Destroy your enemies with your good reputation and their bad reputation.

Law 6: Don’t get lost in a crowd

  • Appearance is everything, you are what you look.
  • Be mysterious, outshine others with your colourful appearance.
  • Be bright than the rest.

Law 7: Let others do the work for you

  • Use the skills of others to do the work for you, let them do the hard work for you.
  • Take credit of others hard work, you paid them.
  • Be efficient in using people’s power to your advantage.

Law 8: Get in Control

  • Force others to act, get in charge of things.
  • Make your opponents come to you by using the power of impression, efficiency and your people.
  • Take full control, best or nothing.

Law 9: Let your actions speak, not your argument

    • You can never win through argument.
    • Show them the way, be the leader.
    • Action is louder than words.

Law 10: Infection: Avoid miserable, unhappy people

  • Unlucky people bring their bad fate with them, avoid them.
  • Sit with winners, you become the winner .
  • Associate with happy people and avoid unhappy people.
  • Unhappy people are like infections, they take away your good health.
  • People bring in their luck when they associate with you, keep your eyes open.

Law 11: Make them dependent on your all the time

  • Make yourself highly needed.
  • Let them depend on you all the time.
  • Don’t teach them everything so they can do it without you.

Law 12: Use honesty and generosity to disarm your victim

  • One sincere, loyal move could cover a dozen dishonest ones.
  • be upfront, honest and generous.

Law 13: When you are asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest

  • Don’t remind people of past deeds.
  • Tell them why you need their help and why it is in their interest as well.

Law 14: Pose as a friend but work as a spy

  • Probe.
  • Ask indirect, important questions.
  • Act like a spy.

Law 15: Crush your enemy totally

  • Don’t stop halfway, go all the way till the end in your work, business or a relationship to make your mission successful.
  • Crush your enemy in body and spirit.

Law 16: Use absence to increase respect, honor

  • Don’t be available all the time.
  • Too much circulation makes the price go down.
  • Create value by maintaining scarcity.

Law 17: Keep others in suspended terror, be unpredictable

  • If you are predictable, it gives control to others.
  • When used all the way to the extreme, you’ll intimidate.
  • Always be unpredictable, never let your actions reveal your plans.

Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself

  • Isolation cuts you off from gathering valuable information.
  • Mix with people to get the 1st hand news
  • Don’t overprotect yourself.

Law 19: Know who you’re dealing with

  • Know that not everyone reacts the same way.
  • Choose your victims and enemies carefully.
  • Do not offend the wrong person.

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Law 20: Don’t commit to anyone

  • Never take someone’s side. Stay neutral.
  • Wait and Watch.
  • Maintain independence.

Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker

  • Don’t be stupid, but make your opponent appear clever and smarter than you, sooner or later then will show weakness.
  • Making them appear smarter hides your motives as you act clever.

Law 22: Transform weakness into power

  • Use the surrender tactic.
  • When you’re weaker, never fight just for honor but surrender and save your life.

Law 23: Concentrate on your forces

  • Intensity defeats extensity every time.
  • Find a hen that’ll give your eggs for a long time.

Law 24: Play the perfect courtier

  • Master the art of indirection.
  • Be graceful in power assertion.

Law 25: Re-create yourself

  • Revamp yourself, create an identity that commands attention.
  • The first impression is the last impression.

Law 26: Keep your hands clean

  • Never appear soiled by mistakes, learn and move on.
  • Make others as scapegoats to disguise your involvement.

Law 27: Play on people’s needs

  • People want to believe in something all the time, cash on that.
  • Become the pivotal point of attraction, offer them a cause, a new faith.
  • Keep your words selection vague but full of promise.

Law 28: Enter action with boldness

  • Not sure?. Don’t do it!
  • Timidity is dangerous.

Law 29: Plan all the way to the end

  • The ending is everything, don’t give up.
  • Take into account of scenario.
  • Plan, you won’t be overwhelmed.
  • Think far ahead.

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless

  • Work smarter, not harder.
  • Make your success look natural.
  • Do not reveal how hard you work, make it look easy.
  • Don’t Teach anyone your tricks.

Law 31: Control the opinions

  • Get in charge.
  • Always Voice your opinions with your actions, make them follow.
  • Give options so no matter their choice, you win.

Law 32: Play to people’s fantasies

  • The truth is unpleasant, better avoid it.
  • There’s always great power in tapping into people’s fantasies.

Law 33: Discover each man’s thumbscrew

  • Always work on finding other’s weaknesses.
  • Once busted, make them work the way you want.

Law 34: Be royal

  • Stay Royal with your command and actions.
  • Act like a king.
  • Expect and demand to be treated like a king.
  • Appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you.

Law 35: Master the art of timing

  • Don’t rush things.
  • Show patience.
  • Timing is the key.
  • Hit when it matters the most, they say hit when the iron is hot.

Law 36: Show less interest, act superior

  • Acknowledging petty problems gives them existence.
  • The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

Law 37: Create compelling spectacles

  • Imagery and symbolic gestures create the aura of power.
  • Dazzle by appearance.

Law 38: Think as you like but Behave like others

  • Don’t seek attention, demand respect with your actions.
  • Blend in.

Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish

  • Anger and emotion are counterproductive.
  • Stay calm and objective.
  • Make enemies emotional while you stay calm and collected.
  • Make your enemies spin all the time, master the craft.

Law 40: Despise the free lunch

  • There are no free lunches.
  • Everything has a price, don’t be available all the time.
  • Price yourself.

Law 41: Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes

  • Follow other great people but act in your own way.
  • Create your own class.
  • Gain power by shining in your own way.

Law 42: Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter

  • Trouble can be traced all the way to a single individual.
  • These people will always influence others.
  • Identify the source of the trouble and then strike.

Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others

  • Seduce others into wanting to move in your direction.
  • Seduce others by operating on their individual psychologies, weaknesses.

Law 44: Disarm with the mirror effect

  • When you mirror exactly what your enemies do, they cannot figure out your strategy.
  • When humiliated, your enemy will panic.

Law 45: Preach the need for change

  • Everyone wants change but too much change is at times unacceptable and uncalled for.
  • Change is always good, ensure moderate quantity though.

Law 46: Never appear too perfect

  • It’s dangerous to appear like you have no thoughts.
  • Sometimes, it is fine to admit to small defects but doesn’t reveal much.

Law 47: Know when to stop

  • Set a goal, achieve it, then stop.

Law 48: Stay Adaptable, things change

  • Stay adaptable and on the move.
  • Everything changes and never bet on it.

You can buy The 48 Laws of Power from Amazon.


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Written by Hisham Sarwar

That is all you ever need to know about me but let me warn you, freelancing for me is a journey, certainly not a destination :)