Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power give only one way of looking at power but certainly not the only way to look at power. When you truly understand power it is possible to use it without evil intent. Those who think power can only be used by evil people for evil purposes are misinformed. In fact, power is a good thing and can be used for good purposes.
In order to use power properly, you have to understand what power actually means.
Power is typically defined as the ability to do something or to act in a certain way. It is also defined as the ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or how events take place. As this definition shows, power itself is neither positive nor negative. It is simply a noun, a state of being. Power can be used for a myriad of things and in more ways that can be counted. One interesting thing about power is that it is something every entrepreneur owner possesses. What separates powerful entrepreneurs from others is that powerful entrepreneurs know they possess power and use it to help their businesses reach their objectives. The smartest and best of the powerful entrepreneurs use their power without evil intent.
Power, simple everyday power is what enables you to:
- get a better price on goods when you negotiate
- have your company’s products and services showcased before those of a competitor
- recruit, hire and retain better employees
- work towards better quality clients for your business
This list is of course not all-inclusive. It is provided to show good uses all businesses can have for power.
Entrepreneurs should seek out ways to become stronger and more powerful. One reason for this is that neither life nor business happen in a vacuum. Things get done, things happen and business moves on. People whether they be your customers, your employees or your competitors all do things all day long, every day. If you want people to select your business as their place of employment you need to learn how to use power in order to attract them. If you want people to spend their dollars at your business and not another, you must use power to attract them and their dollars. If you want your competitors to respect you in the marketplace, you must use power to position yourself as a company that should be taken seriously in your industry.
When it comes to the types of power an entrepreneur possesses, there are several forms of power that exist. These include:
- the power of the vote
- the power of money earned and spent
Entrepreneurs are people and thus have the power to vote for elected officials. This is a tremendous power because this power determines helps determine the laws, regulations, and policies that govern how a business is permitted to operate. The power to vote impacts the decision on taxes which of course impacts earnings, profits,, and income for entrepreneurs and their employees. All this means that the power of the vote is a power that must be recognized, appreciated and used at every opportunity possible.
The income an entrepreneur has is a form of power. The more income an entrepreneur has and the more money a business is able to place into the economic stream, the more power and influence both the entrepreneur and her business may have. It is not only the money the entrepreneur generates in sales that should be considered. Each employee that comes to work at a 9 am to 5 pm job needs transportation, lunch, clothing and related items in order to come to work each day. This is money that is poured into the economy. All of this money is power.
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Yet another form of power entrepreneurs have is the power of numbers. When a business is the biggest employer in an area, town, state or country, that business has influence. There is influence because the area where the business is located will not want to lose the jobs, taxes and incidental spending done by the business. A business with large numbers of employees is able to influence the activity in the community where it is located. Even if you are an entrepreneur who does not have a lot of employees, look at your influence. A blogger for instance, may have very few employees, but she may have a great deal of influence in the number of readers she is able to influence with her words, offerings, and ideas. The power of numbers is a power entrepreneurs must respect and learn to use properly.
Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power represents one view of power, not the only view
My first encounter with the book was seeing it on the bookshelf at the home of a family friend. I borrowed the book and as I read it, I got a look at power that I did not like and thought taught people how to harm and victimize others. This particular friend and I were engaged in business activities together. Over the course of the business relationship, the friend engaged in several courses of behavior that I found to be distasteful and some I found offensive, hurtful and borderline evil. As I sat down and looked through the table of contents I saw that there were some laws with which I could easily agree. At the same time, I saw some laws that I just could not accept. I was deeply troubled when I saw a few of the rules were just the offensive, hurtful and borderline evil behavior that my friend had carried out against me. It saddened me to see that what I thought was bad, but unintentional behavior on the part of my friend was actually a well thought out plan and course of action.
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