This is Number ONE Law of Power in the the book, “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene.
This had been my guiding principle and reminder once I was able to buy a copy of this book in 1998. In 1998, I was then the newly-designated Secretary of the General Staff of the Philippine Army and I was directly under the Office of the Chief of Staff, Philippine Army. Basically, all the documents coming from the different General Staffs and Units go through my scrutiny and screening process before each document goes to the Commanding General of the Philippine Army. I did not have any Command Authority over the different units under the Philippine Army as I was a “facilitator” of good and efficient flow of communication to the leadership of the Philippine Army. At the same time, I also disseminate instructions of the leaderships down to the subordinate units throughout the country.
My position then was a powerful one but I made sure that my authority was within the personnel and staff in my office who fully supported me to accomplish the tasks of the office.
It was in this office and position that I first applied the “Laws of Power” while I was in the active military service. On hindsight, I might have violated some but in the end I think I was successful in my career by following these “laws”.
Up to this time, I would review and re-read the first book that I have but most of the time, I have them re-read through online if time permits.
In the military, Commanders would only hear these two important words from their subordinates, “Yes, Sir”! As a subordinate, one is not allowed to go against the order/wish/suggestion or idea of a Commander. A subordinate is only allowed to say anything if the Commander ask for it. If not, just stay silent. Always remember the saying, “Obey first before you complain”.
As I transitioned to the civilian life, these “laws” had been ingrained to my attitude towards everybody. As I am enjoying my retirement as a civilian citizen, I know I still have the power as a citizen of this country.