The 48 Laws of Power — Book Notes

Robert Greene

Si Quan Ong
61 min readAug 6, 2017


Published: 2000

Who is Robert Greene?

Robert Greene, coined the “Modern Machiavelli” distills the most important lessons from history to help you get ahead.

What This Book Is About:

The laws of power, and how you can use them to gain power for yourself.

Buy the book on Amazon


Law 1: Never Outshine The Master

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite — inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

Keys To Power

  • Everyone has insecurities. When you show yourself in the world and display your talents, you naturally stir up all kinds of resentment, envy and other manifestations of insecurity. That is to be expected.
  • While you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others, with those above you, you must take a different approach.
  • It is a deadly but common misconception to believe that by displaying and vaunting your gifts and talents, you are winning the master’s affection.
  • He may feign appreciation, but at this first opportunity he will replace you with someone less intelligent, attractive and threatening.

There are 2 rules you must realize.

  • 1: You can inadvertently outshine a master simply by being yourself.
  • 2: There are masters who are more insecure than others, and you may naturally outshine them by your charm and grace.
  • If you cannot help being charming or superior, you must learn to avoid such monsters of vanity. Or find a way to mute your good qualities when in the presence of such.
  • Never imagine that because the master loves you, you can do anything you want. Entire books could be written about favourites who fell out of favour by taking their status for granted.