Decisionmaking Leadership

on Niccolò Machiavelli #3

“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively.” – Niccolò Machiavelli

Thinking before acting is obviously the best course of action no matter what the situation is or will be. Much like the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop I included in The Walking Leader (Rule #11 Correct on the Spot), Machiavelli tell us if we are in any situation where action must be taken, it is wise to calculate the associated risks, form a plan, then act swiftly.

The ability to pause, think, then act is essential in any situation, especially if danger is involved (or not involved). Take your time and act appropriately, of course if the situation is an emergency situation then it’s all hands on deck until the emergency subsides.

Make a decision, take action, move forward, but don’t avoid. Never avoid.


Leadership Motivation

on Niccolò Machiavelli #2

“Without an opportunity, their abilities would have been wasted, and without their abilities, the opportunity would have arisen in vain.”  – Niccolò Machiavelli

I wrote about this a while back about exploiting opportunities. In the line above, Machiavelli expounds on the fact that everyone must be ready for when opportunity comes knocking.

The problem and the blessing is that no one knows when opportunity will actually knock. Sometimes, there are signs that things are about to happen but for the most part we never know when it will happen. That is why we must be prepared to exploit those opportunities when they arrive.

While I don’t believe that opportunity only knocks once. I do believe that every time it knocks and we don’t answer it just takes that much longer for the next opportunity to come knocking again.

On the other hand, what if you are ready but opportunity never comes a calling?

This one is easy. Get yourself ready then get out there and show the world you are ready.

Leadership Motivation

on Niccolò Machiavelli #1

“There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.” – Niccolò Machiavelli

Machiavelli hits the nail right on the head with this line.

Surround yourself with “Yes” men and you will never hear the honest truth again. To me, the need to have the truth is vastly greater than to being flattered whether the comments are genuine or not.

The way I see it is that we do not always need flattery. After all, there can be only so much ego stroking before even flattery gets old, tired and inauthentic. Then what good is it?

However, when flattery is mixed with a dose of reality things start to change.

Recently, I received a review of one my works of fiction. It was not a good review. Actually, it wasn’t a review at all, it was two sentences long. However, I will forever be in the debt of the author of those two sentences.

Those two sentences spoke volumes. Unfortunately, the review came a little over a year after that book was published. However, that will not stop me from taking those two sentences and doing something positive with them. Though I hope my writing has matured since., I will work harder to make it better and possibly get a better review from him, next time.

Getting back to Machiavelli, well let’s just say this guy was onto something.