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Book: 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene


I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is the latest “leadership” book in my possession. The gist of the book is the acquisition of power by any means possible no matter how devious no matter who gets hurt. It is the acquisition of power which is then used to for the benefit of the self.
The only way I can take this book seriously would be if it is written as a joke. However, there is nothing to indicate anywhere in the text, including the preface that the author is genuinely teaching people as many ways as possible to enhance their personal level of power. I am currently on law 42 of the 48 laws. Were it not for my hope that somewhere in the final chapters the author would reveal this was written tongue in cheek, I could not see myself continue reading.
The entire text galls me, trashes my beliefs on leadership, makes me want to puke. I practice a form of leadership called Servant Leadership where power is not something to seek, rather, power is something one uses to serve the people the leader is privileged to be leading.

Leader as Servant is quite the opposite of how society tends to view leaders which is typically someone in a command control role. It’s the opposite of my temperament growing up where I, a first born male, generally viewed situations as being either my way or the wrong way. It took some major growth on my part to be able to lead by serving. Leader as Servant is also contrary to everything I have so far read in this book. For me, the book only has value only if is is read with a view of doing the direct opposite of what the text suggests.

Personally, I cannot recommend this book under any circumstances. If you want to learn about leadership there are reams of books on the topic at the local book store. Do yourself a favor and read something by John Maxwell. In his work you will find many valuable insights into becoming the best leader you can be.
I hesitate putting this book in my blog because it may be construed as an endorsement. Quite the opposite, I have blogged this book to let people know it’s not worth their money or their time.
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