Conceal your intentions.
“Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defence. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.” – Green 2002
The judgement above sounds like it derived from a seedy thriller film – yet in fact it is just the indication of how the book will develop. To be powerful, one almost always has to become devious. This will be highlighted in an almost blinding headlights fashion via the future laws (so keep reading).
I’ve been re-watching House of Cards (US version). It’s an amazing show of power and how Kevin Spacey (the president) became meticulously devious. He followed this plan to perfection. He only revealed a plan to a confident if it leads them off another path which would be more catastrophic if they reached that destination.
“Have you ever heard of a skilful general who intends to surprise a citadel announcing his plans to his enemy? Conceal your purpose and hide your progress. Do not disclose the extent of your designs until they cannot be opposed (remember: House of Cards); until the combat is over. Win the victory before you declare the war. Imitate the warlike whose designs are not known except by the ravage country through which they have passed.” – Ninon de I’Eclos (Green 2002).
House of Cards. Netflix.[online]. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856010/
Robert Greene, 2002.48 Laws of Power. London: Profile Books Ltd.