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Law 9: Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument

In the image: Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor, author and former philanthropist. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields. Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age.

Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: the resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

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Keys To Power

  • In the realm of power, you must learn to judge your moves by their long-term effects on people.
  • The problem with trying to prove a point through argument is that in the end you can never be certain how it affects the people you’re arguing with. They may appear to agree with you politely, but inside they may resent you.
  • No one can argue with demonstrated proof. They are there, right before our eyes to see.

Reversal

  • Verbal argument has one vital use in the realm of power: to distract and cover your tracks when you are practicing deception or are caught in a lie. Draw the other person into an argument to distract them from your deceptive move.
  • When caught in a lie, the more emotional and certain you appear, the less likely it seems that you are lying.

Example

Mucianus needed strong ships. Without guarding his tongue his engineer argued that a different type than the one Mucianus preferred would be much better for conquest. Despite being right the engineer was sentenced to death. Don’t argue with authorities. Agree and suggest an alternative, then demonstrate.

About The Book

The 48 Laws of Power (1998) is a non-fiction book by American author Robert Greene. The book is a bestseller, selling over 1.2 million copies in the United States.

Buy The 48 Laws of Power or Listen to it for FREE on Audible