Episode #288: Robert Greene (Part 2) – 

Robert Greene is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, and Mastery.  In his sixth book, The Laws of Human Nature, he turns to the most important subject of all – understanding people’s drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control. He shows how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people’s masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose.

In addition to having a strong following within the business world and a deep following in Washington, DC, Greene’s books are hailed by everyone from war historians to the biggest musicians in the industry (including Jay-Z, Drake, and 50 Cent).

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“I knew at eight years old I wanted to be a writer. It took me 30 years to find the right ideas. Everybody has a primal inclination.” – Robert Greene

Show Notes:

  • The law of human nature work to transform you into a calmer and more strategic observer of people, helping free you from all the emotional drama that needlessly drains you
  • The laws will make you a master interpreter of the cues that people continually emit, giving you a much great ability to judge their character
  • When determining who to work with, determine the persons strength of character. Do not be mesmerized by their reputation or taken in by their surface level image they try to project. Instead train yourself to look deep within them to see their character.
  • Becoming rational – the story of Pericles. Never make a decision while under the influence of strong emotion. One must channel and control their emotions.  It’s hard to master emotion in a group setting.  Take a step back, don’t react in the moment.  “Human beings have to love something…” Love of “nous.” Goddess of Athena — It’s about thinking and being rational.
  • One must develop the ability to look at your own emotions and question them
  • Have a presence of mind – In the heat of the moment decision making.  It’s a skill that can be developed. Must go through tough moments (battles), get the repetitions (“get the reps”), it comes from experience and practice.
  • Know the difference between a strategist and a tactician:
    • “Most of us in life are tacticians, not strategists. We become so enmeshed in the conflicts we face that we can think only of how to get what we want in the battle we are currently facing.” Strategists think beyond a single battle. They create a long-term campaign that can survive multiple defeats and still lead to victory. They don’t fight just because the enemy army is present – they only fight when the time and location is right. Even then, they ask questions like ‘Is it possible to gain victory without fighting this battle?’  “To have the power that only strategy can bring, you must be able to elevate yourself above the battlefield, to focus on your long-term objectives, to craft an entire campaign, to get out of the reactive mode that so many battles in life lock you into. Keeping your overall goals in mind, it becomes much easier to decide when to fight and when to walk away.”
  • It takes reps/experience and the ability to self correct by looking yourself in the mirror.
  • Advance with a sense of purpose, one must be practical, but “if you just string jobs together to make money, you’ll pay a price.” Work to pursue something that genuinely excites you. “I knew at eight years old I wanted to be a writer. It took me 30 years to find the right ideas. Everybody has a primal inclination.”
  • “If you’re not excited about the field you work in, you’ll learn half as much.”
  • The Law of Conformity: Be highly attuned to what others do, say, and think. Microsoft all looked/acted the same.  Be a smart social agent with awareness.  Resist the downward pull of the group.
  • As a leader, how to make them want to follow? Do not have to yell, don’t have to force it. Queen Elizabeth was one of the greatest leaders who ever lived.  She did not feel entitled. She proved herself through her work. “You are not entitled to anything. You must earn it.”
  • A leader must learn how to measure someone’s character when making decisions who to work with
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

“If you’re not excited about the field you work in, you’ll learn half as much.” — Robert Greene

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