Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power is relied upon by many people who are looking for ways to amass and increase their power base. Some people see the book as one of the best things ever written on the subject of power. Others see the book as a look at the worse side of the desire for the acquisition of power.
Power in and of itself is not an evil thing to be feared.
Power is a word that normally evokes an emotional response in those who hear it. At the same time, many people do not have a clear idea of the definition of power. One definition of power found in New Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is the “ability or capacity to do something,” “control or dominion or a position of control, dominion or authority,” and “a person who exercises control, influence or authority.” These definitions, in and of themselves are not inherently negative, harmful or bad. This means that neither power itself or the exercise of power should be seen as negative or something to avoid or fear.
Some people, in fact many people, have a great affinity for The 48 Laws of Power. I am not one of those people. This article is the first in a series of articles where I will be sharing other ideas on power and its application in the world of business. Whether you agree with The 48 Rules of Power or don’t there will be plenty here for you to find interesting and worthy of discussion. It is my hope that this series will help you to:
1. Have a proper appreciation for power
2. Protect yourself from those who see and use power only in a negative way
3. Realize that power can be a good thing that should be used to bring people together in the workplace rather than drive them apart
Power, like many things, has a good side and a bad side so don’t let the bad side overwhelm you.
Many of The 48 Laws of Power seem good on the surface. The problem is that once you delve into them and start parsing the different sections a clear bias towards deception, lies and hurting others in order to obtain power emerges. I like power as much as the next person, but, I think you can obtain power without deceit, lies and destroying those that stand between you and the power you want. Many of the concepts found in The 48 Rules of Power are common ideas that are found in other places including The Bible, The Prince and The Art of War. These are concepts that are familiar to many people and ideas that do not make one uncomfortable on the surface.Here are the 48 Laws of Power in case you are unfamiliar with them.
Here are the 48 Laws of Power in case you are unfamiliar with them.