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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 June 5, 2020

10 Huge Differences Between a Boss And a Leader

10 Huge Differences Between a Boss And a Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss — you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’s main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders Are Compassionate; Bosses Are Cold

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest, and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders Say “We”; Bosses Say “I”

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern-day workplace.

3. Leaders Invest in People; Bosses Use People

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others and note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. People Respect Leaders; People Fear Bosses

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders Give Credit Where It’s Due; Bosses Only Take Credit

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders See Delegation as Their Best Friend; Bosses See It as an Enemy

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust, and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called the self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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You can learn more about how to delegate in my other article: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders).

7. Leaders Work Hard; Bosses Let Others Do the Work

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the most difficult tasks when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go,” a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go,” showing that you are totally willing to help and support them.

8. Leaders Think Long-Term; Bosses Think Short-Term

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders Are Like Colleagues; Bosses Are Just Bosses

Another word for a colleague is a collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

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As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders Put People First; Bosses Put Results First

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook, even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Final Thoughts

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

Reference

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