The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 41

Law Forty-One: Avoid Stepping into a Great Man's Shoes


The first occurrence normally appears to be better and original compared to what followed. Where a person holds a position, which had a more successful predecessor, the individual may need to work extra hard to outshine the earlier success (Greene 347). A person, therefore, needs to avoid living in the shadows of his predecessor form his path that he can follow. It provides the person the opportunity to make his own identity and leave a legacy. After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, he left the seat for his great-grandson. Louis XIV squandered all the wealth that had been left by his great-grandfather (Greene 348). He also failed to attain the level of success that Louis XIV had garnered over time. Thus, he was regarded to be a mere failure.

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