Robert Greene – The Laws of Power

Robert Greene

Robert Greene – Laws of Power – Contents

  • Robert Greene Biography
  • Robert Greene – Big Idea: The Laws of Power
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Robert Greene
  • Career Advice Quotes by Robert Greene
  • Business Advice Quotes by Robert Greene
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Robert Greene
  • Robert Greene Inspirational Quotes
  • Books by Robert Greene
  • Questions about Robert Greene
  • Robert Greene – Videos

Robert Greene Biography

Robert Greene is an author known for his books on strategy, power, and seduction. Greene’s first bestselling book, “The 48 Laws of Power,” sold over 1.2 million copies and is popular with business people, politicians, celebrities, and prison inmates.

Greene has written six internationally bestselling books, which include:

  • The 48 Laws of Power
  • The Art of Seduction
  • The 33 Strategies of War
  • The 50th Law
  • Mastery
  • The Laws of Human Nature.

Robert Greene – Big Idea: The Laws of Power

Robert Greene’s Big Idea is described in his book, “The 48 Laws of Power.” The book is a practical guide for anyone who wants power, observes power, or wants to arm themselves against power.

While working as a writer in Hollywood, Greene observed that today’s power elite shared similar traits with the other dominant figures throughout history. Greene’s ideas about the universal “Laws of Power” have become popular and are studied by the Hollywood elite, politicians, business people, and prison inmates. The ideas are also studied as a first-year text in some U.S. colleges.

Greene’s book has been described as manipulative and amoral. However, his writings and ideas have become a reference for people seeking power. Few high profile people publicly acknowledge the book’s influence because of the controversial nature of some of the ideas. Greene has responded to this controversy by stating that these laws are “practiced day in and day out by business people.” He believes that the powerful are always trying to remove competition and gain influence by whatever means.


Interesting Facts and Insights about Robert Greene

  • Born: Robert Greene was born in 1959 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • B.A.: Greene attended the University of California, Berkeley, and finishing his degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in classical studies.
  • Jobs: Greene has worked as a construction worker, translator, magazine editor, and Hollywood movie writer.
  • Languages: Greene can speak five languages.
  • The 48 Laws of Power: Greene’s first book, “The 48 Laws of Power,” published in 1998.
  • The Art of Seduction: Greene’s second book, “The Art of Seduction,” was published in 2001.
  • Seduction: Greene’s book on Seduction, profiles the nine types of seducers
  • The 33 Strategies of War: Greene’s third book, “33 Strategies of War,” was published in 2007.
  • The 50th Law: Greene’s fourth book, “The 50th Law” was written collaboratively with rapper 50 Cent, and was published in 2009.
  • Mastery: Greene’s fifth book, “Mastery,” was published in 2012.
  • The Laws of Human Nature: Greene’s sixth book, “The Laws of Human Nature,” was published in 2018.
  • Buddhism: Greene is a student of Zen Buddhism.
  • Stroke: Greene suffered a severe stroke in 2018.
  • Home: Greene lives in Los Angeles

“Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy.”

– Robert Greene

Career Advice Quotes by Robert Greene

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”

“You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.”

“You must learn to stir people’s curiosity by letting them glimpse something in your private life.”

”You cannot have everything in the present. The road to mastery requires patience. You will have to keep your focus on five or ten years down the road when you will reap the rewards of your efforts. The process of getting there, however, is full of challenges and pleasures.”

“Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.”

”You don’t want to abandon the skills and experience you have gained but to find a new way to apply them.

“Your eye is on the future, not the past. Often such creative readjustments lead to a superior path for us—we are shaken out of our complacency and forced to reassess where we are headed.”

“‘Too many people believe that everything must be pleasurable in life, which makes them constantly search for distractions and short-circuits the learning process.”

”Feeling motivated and energized, we can overcome almost anything. Feeling bored and restless, our minds shut off and we become increasingly passive.”

“Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.”

”You are not tied to a particular position; your loyalty is not to a career or a company. You are committed to your Life’s Task, to giving it full expression. It is up to you to find it and guide it correctly. It is not up to others to protect or help you. You are on your own.”

“Understand: you are one of a kind. Your character traits are a kind of chemical mix that will never be repeated in history.”

“There are ideas unique to you, a specific rhythm and perspective that are your strengths, not your weaknesses. You must not be afraid of your uniqueness and you must care less and less what people think of you.”

“Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself – your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose – they want to keep you down.”


Business Advice Quotes by Robert Greene

“Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose.”

“Win through your actions, never through argument.”

“Mistakes and failures are precisely your means of education. They tell you about your own inadequacies.”

“Mastery is not a function of genius or talent. It is a function of time and intense focus applied to a particular field of knowledge.”

“In order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious.”

“Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others — playing people against one another, making them pursue you.”

”We are entering a world in which we can rely less and less upon the state, the corporation, or family or friends to help and protect us. It is a globalized, harshly competitive environment. We must learn to develop ourselves.”

“The most effective attitude to adopt is one of supreme acceptance. The world is full of people with different characters and temperaments. We all have a dark side, a tendency to manipulate, and aggressive desires.”

“Power is not what we do but what we do not – hasty and unwise actions that we repeat every day and which ultimately bring us into trouble.”

“Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.”

“If you are doing something primarily for money and without a real emotional commitment, it will translate into something that lacks a soul and that has no connection to you.”

“The key then to attaining this higher level of intelligence is to make our years of study qualitatively rich. We don’t simply absorb information – we internalize it and make it our own by finding some way to put this knowledge to practical use.”


Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Robert Greene

“Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.”

“No moment is wasted if you pay attention and learn the lessons contained in every experience.”

“Your unhappiness is a way of speaking to you, it’s telling you something isn’t right.”

“Keep others in suspense, cultivate an air of unpredictability.”

“Never be distracted by people’s glamorous portraits of themselves and their lives; search and dig for what really imprisons them.”

“Exhibit remarkable confidence and people will think your confidence comes from real knowledge. You will create a self-fulfilling prophecy: people’s belief in you will translate into actions that help realize your visions.”

“Most people are perpetually locked in the present. Their decisions are overly influenced by the most immediate event; they easily become emotional and ascribe greater significance to a problem than it should have in reality.”

The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations.”

“So much of power is not what you do but what you do not do—the rash and foolish actions that you refrain from before they get you into trouble.”

“Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend because he has more to prove.”

“Remember: The best deceivers do everything they can to cloak their roguish qualities. They cultivate an air of honesty in one area to disguise their dishonesty in others. Honesty is merely another decoy in their arsenal of weapons.”

“You can die from someone else’s misery — emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.”


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“Exhibit remarkable confidence and people will think your confidence comes from real knowledge.

– Robert Greene

Robert Greene Inspirational Quotes

”Move toward challenges that will toughen and improve you.”

“Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.”

“There is too little mystery in the world; too many people say exactly what they feel or want.”

“Your greatest power in seduction is your ability to turn away, to make others come after you, delaying their satisfaction.”

“Never rush into the waiting arms of the first person who seems to like you. That is not seduction but insecurity.”

“The world wants to assign you a role in life. And once you accept that role you are doomed.”

“When it comes to mastering a skill, time is the magic ingredient.”

“There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing is more dangerous.”

“I believe that everything happens for a reason, and what seems bad at first might, in fact, be something of a blessing.”

“You must always be prepared to place a bet on yourself, on your future, by heading in a direction that others seem to fear.”

”You possess a kind of inner force that seeks to guide you toward your Life’s Task —what you are meant to accomplish in the time that you have to live.”

“Become the curator of life. Edit, leave out the junk. But when you find something worth keeping, treasure it.”


Books by Robert Greene

  • The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene, 1998
  • The Art of Seduction, by Robert Greene, 2001
  • Mastery, by Robert Greene, 2012
  • The Laws of Human Nature, by Robert Greene, 2018
  • The 33 Strategies of War, by Robert Greene, 2006
  • The 50th Law, by Robert Greene, 2009
  • Talking to Myself, by Robert Greene, 2015
  • The Concise 48 Laws of Power, by Joost Elffers and Robert Greene, 1999
  • The 8 Laws of Corporate America: The Laws to Moving Through Complicated Situations and Coming Out on Top, by Robert Greene, 2016
  • The Concise Laws of Human Nature, by Robert Greene, 2020
  • Big Results: The Steps to Getting the Results You Want, and Why Setting Goals Never Works, by Robert Greene, 2016

Questions about Robert Greene


BIG IDEAS:

“Strategies for Influence” explores and shares the BIG IDEAS from the Leaders of Influence that can help you with your Career, Business, and Leadership. Click on any of the links below to explore the Big Ideas that have influenced our work and culture.

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“True genius, in strategy or anywhere, lies in self-control, self-mastery, presence of mind, fluidity of thought.”

– Robert Greene

Robert Greene – Videos

Robert Greene: “The Laws of Human Nature” – Talks at Google

How to Master Your Dark Side – Robert Greene on Impact Theory


”Practical knowledge is the ultimate commodity, and is what will pay you dividends for decades to come.”

– Robert Greene

Author Robert Greene [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]