The 48 Laws of Power – Summary


These are the most important laws, in my opinion:

Law 1 – Never Outshine the Master

Act competent, but know your threshold.
Never act like you know more than your boss.  He/she is highly unlikely to like this and will feel insecure.
Never argue with your ‘master’ about who is right.

I think this can be a potential problem with first class, and even Master’s degrees.

If your qualifications are massively more impressive than your potential manager’s, there’s a possibility that they can work against you.

That’s my excuse for not having a great job anyway – my degree seemed to be like a curse when I first graduated.


Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends, learn to use enemies

Basically, never trust anyone.  Learn to manipulate people.

Friends will let you down and boundaries get confused.

Enemies have more to prove.  Former enemies that is.


Law 3: Conceal your intentions

Don’t make it obvious what your goals are.

If you become a contestant on the Ultimate Fighter for example, make out that you are there to have fun and enjoy it and act the fool if necessary. Conceal the fact you are there to win and destroy the competition.

Law 7: Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit

Obviously, you have to be a massive helmet to do this.  I’ve included this law because I’ve seen it happen so many times – and it angers people.

Rightly so, but try not to be angry, just expect it. Expect sociopaths to work at the top of your company.

I also disagree with this law, taking credit for other people’s work is pretty standard for senior-level managers in corporations etc – you can stand out more by giving credit to your staff.  You will stand out to your superiors and to the ‘on the ground’ staff in your team, who should appreciate you more for not being a smarmy wnker

Law 9: Win through your actions, never through argument

Winning through argument is pointless, and the resentment it creates can cause you problems down the line.


Law 10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.
Surround yourself with positive people whenever possible.


Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy

Someone wants to kill you?  (extreme example)
Don’t say something like “Please don’t, I have 2 dogs that depend on me”
Say “But you could sell me for a high price in the next town as a slave”, or something that appeals to whoever it is that’s looking to wipe you out.


Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honor

If you are of value to the company for example, don’t worry about everything going t!ts up when you are on your 2 week holiday.  If that does happen, it may well be in your interest, as it shows how valuable you are.  If nothing else, this is a good way not to worry about work on holiday!

Intermittent reinforcement is also a great way to get people to crave your attention.

If you are always about, your value goes down.

” Intermittent Reinforcement – Intermittent Reinforcement is when rules, rewards or personal boundaries are handed out or enforced inconsistently and occasionally. This usually encourages another person to keep pushing until they get what they want from you without changing their own behavior.”

More information on intermittent reinforcement here –

Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous

Ensure you are always in a position to take onboard the latest news and knowledge.
Have ‘friends’ around you to listen out for you etc.

Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless

Conceal how hard you actually work.  Never explain your tricks and tactics.


Law 39: Stir up waters to catch fish

Always stay calm, whilst your enemy is emotional and angry


Law 46: Never appear too perfect

Play down yourself.
Related to law 1 in a way.
Don’t brag about how great your weekend was on a Monday morning, seem humble, don’t make superiors jealous of you in anyway.
Appear competent, but admit small defects that are not related to work.



To put a ‘nice’ angle on this, rather than being a manipulative, power hungry sh!thouse, you could see it like this:
Never offend anyone unnecessarily – resentment lasts a long, long time, so avoid whenever possible

Always be humble – play things down, don’t brag, give credit to your superiors whenever possible

Surround yourself with positive people whenever possible. This is key!
Read more about positive psychology, listen to audio books or watch/listen to videos if possible.  If you can’t avoid negative people, try and share your wisdom.

FightMediocrity is may favourite Youtube Channel at the moment for Positive Psychology and book summaries.

About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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