The 48 Laws of Power — A Book By Robert Greene

A friend of mine had mentioned this book the other day: The 48 Laws of Power. At first glance I was disinterested but as I delved into the first couple of pages it caught my attention. The author Robert Greene who feels power is deeply routed in our DNA takes the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carl Von Clausewitz (amongst others)  while citing historical examples to make this an insightful and intriguing read.

It might look amoral, cunning and deceitful yet it made sense to me as throughout my life (business & personal) I have always been surrounded by people grasping for more power and using these tactics effectively time and time again.

Greene says that learning the laws of power has given him tranquility:

“It just brings a sense of calmness and detachment because things don’t bother me,” he says. “I observe everyone else’s power games. It’s a beautiful position to be in.”

After reading through all 48 laws I couldn’t agree more. Although many of you won’t take to it, Greene has taught me how dodgy some people might be and how how clever and ambitious you should be about succeeding in life.  I also loved the fact that beneath each Law of Power he gave a historic example as well as a section called wisdom in a nutshell bullet pointing and explaining each technique.

Valuable insight and wisdom indeed. This is truly an unique book that serves both as a manual as well as a reading of the history of power and how it was used through the ages—I would slot this into the business / self help / psychology / philosophy category. In my opinion it shouldn’t be construed into cruel and heartless tactics to stay in power or “how to be evil” but give you insight into the realty of the world, the games of power and how to maintain the edge.

Some of my favorite rules where:

  • Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies.
  • Play a sucker to catch a sucker: play dumber than your mark.
  • Conceal your intentions.
  • Always say less than necessary.
  • Learn to keep people dependent on you.
  • So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life.
  • Use absence to increase respect and honor.
  • Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once.

You may read through all the laws here at the Wikipedia or buy the whole book at Amazon. It won’t take you more than one hour to have a read, but should a particular situation arise  take your time to reference this handy book.

Related Books & Posts:

  1. The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
  2. How to Wins Friends & Influence People
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  4. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
  5. The Art Of Seduction
  6. The Art Of War

 

The Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition

Excerpt:  Sex and profit are the two things that never last long enough..

ferengiI’ve subscribed to a couple of mailing lists were i watch the tech satire very closely.    A couple of days ago i noticed that i had automatically been subscribed to @Jason’s mailing list, and in one of his mails he goes on to mention the the “Ferengi Rules of Acquistion.”

If you’re not a Trekkie (and neither am I) it turns out Ferengi are a species from StarTrek that was particularly highlighted in Deep Space 9. Their religion is commerce and their society is determined by profit.

Here’s a little background i found over on Memory Alpha:

The Rules of Acquisition were a numbered series of aphorisms, guidelines, and principles that provided the foundation of business philosophy in Ferengi culture. They were first written ten thousand years ago by Gint, the first Grand Nagus. In the mid-22nd century there were 173 rules, but by the 24th century there were 285. Commentaries existed for the Rules. (ENT: “Acquisition”, DS9: “Rules of Acquisition”)

There was also a short-lived revised edition of the Rules written by Grand Nagus Zek after having his state of mind changed by the Bajoran Prophets. These rules were almost complete opposites of the original rules and promoted honesty and charity. After Zek recovered, he ordered all copies of the new rules to be destroyed. (DS9: “Prophet Motive”)

Ferengi Rules of Aquisition.

1.  Once you have their money, never give it back
2.  You can’t cheat an honest customer, but it never hurts to try
3.  Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to
4.  Sex and profit are the two things that never last long enough
5.  If you can’t break a contract, bend it
6.  Never let family stand in the way of opportunity
7.  Always keep you ears open
8.  Keep count of your change
9.  Instinct plus opportunity equals profit
10.  A dead customer can’t buy as much as a live one
11.  Latinum isn’t the only thing that shines
12.  Anything worth selling is worth selling twice
13.  Anything worth doing is worth doing for money
14.  Anything stolen is pure profit
15.  Acting stupid is often smart
16.  A deal is a deal … until a better one comes along
17.  A bargain usually isn’t
18.  A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all
19.  Don’t lie too soon after a promotion
20.  When the customer is sweating, turn up the heat
21.  Never place friend ship before profit
22.  wise men can hear profit in the wind
23.  Never take the last coin, but be sure to get the rest
24.  Never ask when you can take
25.  Fear makes a good business partner
26.  The vast Majority of the rich in this galaxy did not inherit their wealth; they stole it
27.  The most beautiful thing about a tree is what you do with it after you cut it down
28.  Morality is always defined by those in power
29.  When someone says “It’s not the money,” they’re lying
30.  Talk is cheap; synthehol costs money
31.  Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother
32.  Be careful what you sell. It may do exactly what the customer expects
33.  It never hurts to suck up to the boss
34.  Too many Ferengi can’t laugh at themselves anymore
35.  Peace is good for business
36.  War is good for business
37.  You can always buy back a lost reputation
38.  Free advertising is cheap
39.  Praise is cheap. Heap it generously on all customers
40.  If you see profit on a journey, take it
41.  Money talks, but having a lots of it gets more attention
42.  Only negotiate when you are certain to profit
43.  Caressing an ear is often more forceful than pointing a weapon
44.  Never argue with a loaded phaser
45.  profit has limits. Loss has none
46.  Labor camps are full of people who trusted the wrong person
47.  Never trust a man wearing a better suit than you own
48.  The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife
49.  Old age and greed will always overcome youth and talent
50.  Never bluff a Klingon
51.  Never admit a mistake if there’s someone else to blame
52.  Only Bugsy could have built Las Vegas
53.  Sell first; ask questions later
54.  Never buy anything you can’t sell

55.  Always sell at the highest possible profit
56.  Pursue profit; women come later
57.  Good customers are almost as rare as Latinum – treasure them
58.  Friendship is seldom cheap
59.  Fee advice is never cheap
60.  Never use Latinum where your words will do
61.  Never buy what can be stolen
62.  The riskier the road, the greater the profit
63.  power without profit is like a ship without an engine
64.  Don’t talk shop; talk shopping
65.  Don’t talk ship; talk shipping
66.  Anyone serving in a fleet who is crazy can be relieved, if they ask for it
67.  Enough is never enough
68.  Compassion is no substitute for a profit
69.  You could afford your ship without your government – if it weren’t for your government
70.  Get the money first, then let the buyers worry about collecting the merchandise
71.  Gamble and trade have two things in common: risk and Latinum
72.  Never let the competition know, what you’re thinking
73.  Never trust advice from a dying Ferengi; listen but don’t trust
74.  A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all
75.  Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of Latinum
76.  Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies
77.  Go where no Ferengi has gone before; where there is no reputation there is profit
78.  There is a customer born every minute
79.  Beware of the Vulcan greed for knowledge
80.  If it works, sell it. If it works well, sell it for more. If it doesn’t work, quadruple the price and sell it as an antique
81.  There’s nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman
82.  A smart customer is not a good customer
83.  Revenge is profitless
84.  She can touch your ears but never your Latinum
85.  Death takes no bribes
86.  A wife is a luxury,  a smart accountant a necessity
87.  Trust is the biggest liability of all
88.  When the boss comes to dinner, it never hurts to have the wife wear something
89.  Latinum lasts longer than lust
90.  Mine is better than ours
91.  He who drinks fast pays slow
92.  Never confuse wisdom with luck
93.  He’s a fool who makes his doctor his heir
94.  Beware of small expenses: a small leak will kill a ship
95.  Important, more impotant, Latinum
96.  Faith moves mountains – of inventory
97.  If you would keep a secret from an enemy, don’t tell it to a friend
98.  Profit is the better part of valor
99.  Never trust a wise man
100.  Everything that has no owner, needs one
101.  Never do something you can make someone do for you
102.  Nature decays, but Latinum lasts forever
103.  Sleep can interfere with opportunity
104.  Money is never made. It is merely won or lost
105.  Wise men don’t lie, they just bend the truth
106.  There is no honor in poverty
107.  Win or lose, there’s always Huyperian Beetle Snuff
108.  A woman wearing clothes is like a man without profit
109.  Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack
110.  Only a fool passes up a business opportunity
111.  Treat people in your debt like family … exploit them
112.  Never sleep with the boss’s wife unless you pay him first
113.  Never sleep with the boss’s sister
114.  Small print lead to large risk
115.  Greed is eternal
116.  There’s always a way out
117.  If the profit seems too good to be true, it usually is
118.  Never cheat a honest man offering a decent price
119.  Buy, sell, or get out of the way
120.  Even a blind man can recognize the glow of Latinum
121.  Everything is for sale, even friendship
122.  As the customers go, so goes the wise profiteer
123.  A friend is only a friend until you sell him something. Then he is a customer
124.  Friendship is temporary, profit is forever
125.  A lie isn’t a lie until someone else knows the truth
126.  A lie isn’t a lie, it’s just the truth seen from a different point of view
127.  Gratitude can bring on generosity
128.  Ferengi are not responsible for the stupidity of other races
129.  Never trust your customers
130.  Never trust a beneficiary
131.  If it gets you profit, sell your own mother
132.  The flimsier the produce, the higher the price
133.  Never judge a customer by the size of his wallet … sometimes good things come in small packages
134.  There’s always a catch
135.  The only value of a collectible is what you can get somebody else to pay for it
136.  The sharp knife cuts quickly. Act without delay!
137.  Necessity is the mother of invention. Profit is the father
138.  Law makes everyone equal, but justice goes to the highest bidder
139.  Wives serve; brother inherit
140.  The answer to quick and easy profit is: buy for less, sell for more
141.  Competition and fair play are mutually exclusive. Fait play and financial loss go hand-in-hand
142.  A Ferengi waits to bid until his opponents have exhausted themselves
143.  The family of Fools is ancient
144.  There’s nothing wrong with charity … as long as it winds up in your pocket
145.  Always ask for the costs first
146.  If possible sell neither the sizzle nor the steak, but the Elphasian wheat germ
147.  New customers are like razor toothed gree worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back
148.  Opportunity waits for no one
149.  Females and finances don’t mix
150.  Make your shop easy to find
151.  Sometimes, what you get free costs entirely too much
152.  Ask not what your profits can do for you; ask what you can do for your profits
153.  You can’t free a fish from water
154.  The difference between manure and Latinum is commerece
155.  What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine too
156.  Even in the worst of times someone turns a profit
157.  You are surrounded by opportunities; you just have to know where to look
158.  Don’t pay until you have the goods
159.  The customer is always right … until you have their cash
160.  Respect is good, Latinum is better
161.  Never kill a customer, unless you make more profit out of his death than out of his life
162.  His money is only your’s when he can’t get it back
163.  A thirsty customer is good for profit, a drunk one isn’t
164.  Never spend your own money when you can spend someone else’s
165.  Never allow one’s culture’s law to get in the way of a universal goal: profit
166.  Never give away for free what can be sold
167.  If a deal is fairly and lawfully made, then seeking revenge especially unprofitable revenge, is illegal
168.  Beware of relatives bearing gifts
169.  If you’re going to have to endure, make yourself comfortable
170.  Never gamble with an empath
171.  Time is Latinum. The early Ferengi get the Latinum
172.  If you can sell it, don’t hsitate to steal it
173.  A piece of Latinum in the hand is worth two in a customer’s pocket
174.  Share and perish
175.  When everything fails – run
176.  Ferengi’s don’t give promotional gifts!
177.  Know your enemies … but do business with them always
178.  The world is a stage – don’t forget to demand admission
179.  Whenever you think that things can’t get worse, the FCA will be knocking on you door
180.  Never offer a confession when a bribe will do
181.  Even dishonesty can’t tarnish the glow of Latinum
182.  Whenever you’re being asked if you are god, the right answer is YES
183.  Genius without opportunity is like Latinum in the mine
184.  There are three things you must not talk to aliens: sex, religion and taxes
185.  If you want to ruin yourself there are three known ways: Gambling is the fastest, women are the sweetest, and banks are the most reliable way
186.  There are two things that will catch up with you for sure: death and taxes
187.  If your dancing partner wants to lead at all costs, let her have her own way and ask another one to dance
188.  Never bet on a race you haven’t fixed
189.  Borrow on a handshake; lend in writing
190.  Drive your business or it will drive you
191.  Let other keep their reputation. You keep their money
192.  If the flushing isn’t strong enough, use your brain and try the brush
193.  Klingon women don’t dance tango
194.  It’s always good business to know about new customers before they walk in your door
195.  Wounds heal, but debt is forever
196.  Only give money to people you know you can steal from
197.  Never trust your customers, especially if they are your relatives
198.  Employees are the rungs on your ladder to success – don’t hesitate to step on them
199.  The secret of one person is another person’s opportunity
200.  A madman with Latinum means profit without return
201.  The justification for profit is profit
202.  a)  A friend in need is a customer in the making
b)  A friend in need means three times the profit
203.  A Ferengi in need, will never do anything for free
204.  When the Grand Nagus arrives to offer you a business opportunity, it’s time to leave town until he’s gone
205.  When the customer dies, the money stops a-comin’
206.  Fighting with Klingons is like gambling with Cardassians – it’s good to have a friend around when you lose
207.  Never trust a hardworking employee
208.  Give someone a fish, you feed him for one day.  Teach him how to fish, and you lose a steady customer
209.  Tell them what they want to hear
210.  A wife, who is able to clean, saves the cleaning lady
211.  In business deals, a disruptor can be almost as important as a calculator
212.  If they accept your first offer, you either asked too little or offered too much
213.  Stay neutral in conflicts so that you can sell supplies to both sides
214.  Never begin a business transaction on an empty stomach
215.  Instinct without opportunity is useless
216.  Never take hospitality from someone worse off than yourself
217.  Only pay for it, if you are confronted with loaded phaser
218.  Always know what you’re buying
219.  A friend is not a friend if he asks for a discount
220.  Profit is like a bed of roses – a few thorns are inevitable
221.  Beware of any man who thinks with his lobes
222.  Knowledge is Latinum
223.  Rich men don’t come to buy; they come to take
224.  Never throw anything away: It may be worht a lot of Latinum some Stardate
225.  Pride comes before a loss
226.  Don’t take your family for granted, only their Latinum
227.  Loyalty can be bought … and sold
228.  All things come to those who wait, even Latinum
229.  Beware the man who doesn’t make time for oo-mox
230.  Manipulation may be a Ferengi’s greatest tool, and liability
231.  If you steal it, make sure it has a warranty
232.  Life’s no fair (How else would you turn a profit?)
233.  Every dark cloud has a Latinum lining
234.  Never deal with beggars; it’s bad for profits
235.  Don’t trust anyone who trusts you
236.  You can’t buy fate
237.  There’s a sucker born every minute.  Be sure you’re the first to find each one
238.  The truth will cost
239.  Ambition knows no family
240.  The higher you bid, the more customers you drive away
241.  Never underestimate the inportance of the fist impression
242.  More is good, all is better
243.  If you got something nice to say, then SHOUT
244.  If you can’t sell it, sit on it, but never give it away
245.  A warranty is valid only if they can find you
246.  He that speaks ill of the wares will buy them
247.  Never question luck
248.  Celebrate when you are paid, not, when you are promised
249.  Respect other culture’s beliefs; they’ll be more likely to give you money
250.  A dead vendor doesn’t demand money
251.  Satisfaction is not guaranteed
252.  Let the buyer beware
253.  A contract without fine print is a fool’s document
254.  Anyone who can’t tell a fake doesn’t deserve the real thing
255.  A warranty without loop-holes is a liability
256.  Synthehol is the lubricant of choice for a customer’s stuck purse
257.  Only fools negotiate with their own money
258.  A Ferengi is only as important as the amount of Latinum he carries in his pockets
259.  A lie is a way to tell the truth to someone who doesn’t know
260.  Gambling is like the way to power: The only way to win is to cheat, but don’t get caught in the process
261.  A wealthy man can afford everything except a conscience
262.  No lobes, no profit
263.  Never let a female in clothes cloud your sense of profit
264.  It’s not the size of your planet, but it’s income, that matters
265.  The fear of loss may be your greatest enemy or your best friend – choose wisely
266.  A pair of good ears will ring dry a hundred tongues
267.  Wish not so much to live Long, as to live well
268.  a) When in doubt, lie
b) When in doubt, buy
c) When in doubt, demand more money
d) When in doubt, shoot them, take their money, run and blame someone else
269.  Never purchase anything that has been promised to be valuable or go up in value
270.  It’s better to have gambled and lost than to never have gambled at all
271.  There’s many witty men whose brains can’t line their pockets
272.  The way to a Ferengi’s heart is through his wallet
273.  Always count their Latinum before selling anything
274.  There is no profit in love; however, a strong heart is worth a few bars of Latinum on the open market. Keep it on ice
275.  Latinum can’t buy happiness, but you can sure have a blast renting it
276.  If at first you don’t succeed, try to acquire again
277.  Diamonds may be girl’s best friend, but you can only buy the girl with Latinum
278.  It’s better to swallow your pride than to lose your profit
279.  Never close a deal too soon after a female strokes your lobes
280.  An empty bag can not stand upright
281.  Blood is thicker than water, but harder to sell
282.  Business is like war; it’s important to recognize the winner
283.  Rules are always subject to change
284.  Rules are always subject to interpretation
285.  No good deed ever goes unpunished
286.  When Morn leaves it is all over

The Best Business Book You’re Ever Going To Read

harvardbiz_dontIf you don’t know IMG (the world’s premier and most diversified sports, entertainment and media company), then meet the man who founded the company with one handshake with legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.

Today i was reading through Kevin Kelly’s blog and i ran into a post:  The 100 best business books in the world.  While it referenced some powerful and persuasive books like Purple Cow, How To Win Friends And Influence People, I was surprised not to see Mark McCormack’s insightful and practical book What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School in the list.

Out of the hundreds of thousands business books out there, most of them not worth reading this one is a really gem, a true keeper. Whether you’re a college graduate or not, in it’s entirety this is the book has a little something for everyone at every level.   What’s most interesting is the practical real life examples that Mr. McCormack refers to and discusses leaving you with unforgettable impressions and knowledge you can use throughout the course of your life, not too mention your business career.

If you’re a into reading for personal benefit and knowledge, you won’t be able to put it down till you finish and absorb all the golden nuggets of wisdom evenly distributed into 3 well written and concise sections;  People, Sales & Negotiation and Running a Business.  Valuable life lessons from a successful business man..

Reflecting back this book has taught me a thing or two about the practical side of the business world (which is exactly what we want to learn about).  Even after finishing the book i can’t help but ruffle through the pages every once and again referring to my favorite excerpts on the power of silence, creating impressions  and how you can greatly benefit from simple yet effective observations of the people around you.

Thought: Caterina wrote on her blog that “If you want to be an entrepreneur, drop out of college.” While her title is provocative I could conclude by saying if you’re going that route this would be a great book to start.  Of course you wouldn’t want to overlook the rest of the 100.

Excerpts:

*The people who are least secure about their abilities have the hardest time admitting their mistakes.  They fail to realize that making a mistake and admitting it-owning up to it-are two separate acts.  It is not the mistake itself but how the mistake was handled that forms the lasting impression.

*I am pasionate about the game of golf.  [truncated] Part of the reason, I’m sure is the range of emotions a round of golf can bring out and the complex array of personality traits it reveals.

*When i first shook hands with Arnold Palmer, I told him that I could make only two guarantees.  First, that if i didn’t know something, i would tell him.  Second, that when i didn’t know something, I would find someone who did.

*If you’re not going to make friends, resign yourself to neutrals and enemies.

*It’s the ability to delegate which, more than anything else, separates the good managers from the bad ones.

*Never underestimate your competition.  I think a competitive spirit is essential to both personal and corporate business success.  And how you stack up against the competition is one of the best yardsticks for measuring that success.

Note: When people ask Mark McCormack why he works over 90 hours a week and how he sustains such a hectic schedule he simply answers “I love what i do.”

The Economic Practice Of Web Design — Free Document Included

The Economic Practice Of Web Design

I very much liked what IA on Twitter said about The Practice of Web Design:

In my eyes, web design is neither an artistic exercise nor a scientific discipline but an economic practice…

He has a great point here as and this is a team who really excels in the niche that they belong to – WEB DESIGN.   Taking inspiration from this singular quote i’ve listed some items that might help you start developing your design work into a full time business – so you can earn the money you worked so hard for.

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