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Book Review: The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

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The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene provides some common historical perspectives for fitting into a corporate or organizational culture. Each culture has a different emphasis so that the rules in Greene’s book cannot be generalized everywhere. Greene’s recitation of 48 Laws is an attempt at distilling 3000 years of the history of power into a single book.

Greene advises people to say as little as possible in an organization. This advice has benefits, as well as disbenefits. The benefits are that information control can be useful to prevent rumors and stories from spreading. The disbenefit is that people may not have the requisite information to make decisions.

Saying as little as possible can lead to isolation which Greene criticizes. Being out of touch can have great costs with regard to moving ideas and people forward. Ultimately, good decisions are made and executed in an environment where information flows freely.

Information control does have its place. For instance, insider information has to be controlled; otherwise, whole classes of investors could be placed at a disadvantage.

Greene advises readers to plan. This is good advice because a lack of planning can impact the bottom line ultimately. He explains the necessity of getting others to do work for you through delegation. This aspect is critical so that work can be compartmentalized in accordance with expertise within an organization.

Greene explains that the best way to win is with your actions and solid accomplishments. This is sound advice because excessive self promotion can be problematic.

The book has a section which explains how to master the timing of communications. This aspect is very critical. No one ever got far by asking the boss for time off in the middle of a frantic schedule.

Greene spends some time explaining the importance of recreating oneself. The idea of wearing a different hat or projecting a different image can give the impression of renewal, although the converse is also true. The best option is to be yourself. Recreating an image can be problematic.

The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene provides an interesting read. Some of the advice should be followed. Readers can experience problems with trying to generalize all of Greene’s advice across every corporate or organizational culture.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.