Monday, December 29, 2008

Book Review on “The 48 Laws of Power”

The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene was published by Penguin Group in 2000. The book with 452 pages is for those who seek for motivating achievement, instill confidence, and change attitude in his organization to become a great leader. The author tries to discover the behavior of great leaders who have skillfully used the game of power to manipulate and conquer the worlds and also the example of leaders who were neglected the laws. It seems that he have done an intense research of the previous historical leaders.

Forty eight seems too much to read, of course some of the laws are not to pertain directly to reader’s life, but in time they are actually interrelated. Just for me, I interested in 12 of the laws for the time beings. For those in higher level, they might find that they needs to read more, understand and apply the whole laws to become a powerful person. The laws that I interested are;

1. Law 1 (Never Outshine the Master)
2. Law 2 (Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies)
3. Law 4 (Always say less than necessary)
4. Law 7 (Get others to do the works for you, But always take the credit)
5. Law 15 (Crush your enemy totally)
6. Law 16 (Use absence to increase respect and honour)
7. Law 20 (Do not commit to anyone)
8. Law 26 (Keep your hand cleans)
9. Law 39 (Stir up waters to catch fish)
10. Law 41 (Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes)
11. Law 45 (Preach the need for change, But never reform too much at once)
12. Law 46 (Never appear to perfect)

By reading on this book, observers will feel that the readers are trying to be a powerful person. So, be careful. Otherwise, you will be toppling by them. Actually, the readers of this book are not only motivating themselves about power but also can be used for defending themselves from the power abuser.

I am wondering either anyone in this world has never thinking or dreaming to have power. If you find one, be careful of him. He must be a hypocrite! From the primitive reign to the modern civilizations, war is continuously happened. Worldwide, countries are fighting each other to become the most powerful nation. Nationwide, to the smallest organization in villages, peoples are fighting through whatever way to be on the top. However, for those who just in the beginning of dreaming, power is a labyrinth, with endless seductive and deceptive in its own way. Thinking too much on power is a critical matter. At the end, power will benefit to those who really study and reflect, but will punished those who is on the opposite directions.

Most of us might already know the laws as describe in this book, but we don’t really used them, or don’t used them in the right way. Description by Robert Green make it sound so easy to have master the laws of power, but the power itself has to describe in general, specific, understand in deep and apply in ethically. Hence, the best powerful person is a person is a person who really or used to be manipulate, torture and suffering pain over the years by the game of power. Just a reminder for those are in power, used them ethically because imbalance power and persecution will lead people to be more powerful. The history has taught us a lot, the Goth can fight against the stronger empire of Rome.

The strength on this book are the preface, where Robert Greene highlight all the 48 Laws in a simple and solid explanation, in further explanation he includes the transgression and observance of the laws with evidences and example of great and loser leaders. For better understanding for the readers, he than includes the interpretation of both transgression and observance. He than conclude his point by giving the keys of power and reversal. Another special of the book is that, Robert Greene also gives the story behind a story and images related to his explanations. For most of the above, the readers will most attracts on how Robert Greene used the history for strengthening his point of views.

For this book, I really loved it, easy to understand even though some of the laws are totally out of my life vocabulary. However, I do believed that one day I might have to used the paradox laws. It just matter of time and maturity. I always try not to give full marks to others, believing that I could be better than them. However, Robert Greene and his book deserved the five stars rating on my judgment. At least now I understand some of the behavior of the leaders.

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