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Robert Greene on Embracing Loneliness and Dealing with Power

Robert Greene on Embracing Loneliness and Dealing with Power

Have you ever felt lonely?

Maybe you’re lonely right now. We all feel it, whether people have the guts to admit it or not.
This could be because the people around you don’t quite get your vision or what you’re working on, or it could be because you just moved to a new city or company — or for any reason whatsoever.

It’s 100% natural, and our special guest, Robert Greene, shares why it’s necessary to embrace loneliness to get through our struggles. Like a marathoner may experience cramps from time to time, you will experience loneliness — whether you’re an entrepreneur, artist, creative, freelancer, or working for someone else.

After traveling around the world for the past 15 months, I have felt multiple counts of loneliness myself, especially since I don’t have a regular routine of going into the office. It’s all cafe hopping, home office, and parks for me.

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I’ve personally realized the importance of dealing with loneliness, and how it can even boost your creativity, vision, and mental agility. What it really comes down to is how you frame the situation and the emotion you’re feeling inside.

As a full-time writer of bestselling books like The 48 Laws of Power, Seduction, Mastery, and 50th Law, which he wrote with 50 Cent, Robert has shared his moments of loneliness working alone (especially since most of his books are based on dead people!). He has sold millions of books around the world, and his most popular one The 48 Laws of Power, is popular with well-known rappers, entrepreneurs, celebrities, athletes and actors including 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, DJ Premier, Dov Charney, Brian Grazer, Andrew Bynum, Chris Bosh, and Will Smith.

Robert and I go deep in this episode, and I ask questions that he has never been asked in his 17 years of doing interviews on TV, radio, and podcasts. So you don’t want to miss this episode. Enjoy!

Quick Episode Summary: Why Learning The 48 Laws Of Power Is Critical

Power is a controversial topic in society. Some people associate the word with manipulation, and some with strength and leadership.

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All around us in our lives, we experience a power play in one form or another, and we need to understand the rules to navigate these plays. More importantly, we need to know these laws so we don’t get taken advantage of.

Robert shares how you can use the 48 laws of power to your own advantage in this episode.

Why You Should Never Outshine The Master

One of the biggest mistakes Robert sees time and time again (and one he made personally) is when people try to outshine the master. His take is that no matter how powerful or far up the chain someone is, we humans are all the same. We all deal with self-consciousness, ego issues, and sensitive topics that run through our minds constantly.

When the prodigy or the mentee tries to outshine the person that has gotten them to where they are, it not only diminishes the time and energy the master has put into you, but it just pisses them off — period.

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Dealing With Loneliness

Loneliness is inevitable. In fact, the bigger your vision, the more loneliness you will face in your life, because most people won’t think the same way you do, nor understand what you’re trying to accomplish.

Our audience is filled with game-changers, and this is going to be the most important lesson of all — how to embrace loneliness and use it to your advantage.

Robert shares practical strategies and tactics that he uses himself, to overcome loneliness and be on his best game physically and mentally, in order to write bestselling books.

Here’s a highlight of what’s to come in the episode:

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  • The 48 laws of power, what it means, and why those who are not aware of the laws are at a disadvantage in life and business
  • Robert’s take on the most critical law of power that everyone should know today
  • Why you should never outshine the master (mentor, advisor, or boss)
  • How Robert deals with the contrasts between introversion and extroversion
  • Working with 50 cent – what it was like, what the vision was for the book was, etc.
  • And much more!

Over To You

What’s your favorite law of power, and how do you deal with loneliness personally?

Share below! Your comments are my oxygen.

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Sean Kim

Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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