Leaders And Yes Men….

I have been enjoying Jonathan Powell’s book The New Machiavelli: How To Wield Power In The Modern world. Jonathan Powell was Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff, as well as a student of Machiavelli. He skillfully weaves Machiavelli wisdom into his book and here is a taste of it:

Machiavelli argues that in resisting the temptations of flattery a prince must show that he is not afraid of hearing the truth. He therefore gives advice that holds good to this day, saying that ‘a prudent Prince should follow a middle course, by choosing certain discreet men from among his subjects, and allowing them alone free leave to speak their minds on any matter on which he asks their opinion, and on none other. But he ought to ask their opinion on everything, and after hearing what they have to say, should reflect and judge for himself.’ It is important ‘that each and all of them may know that the more freely they declare their thoughts the better they will be liked’


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