In praise of Machiavellian leadership

11/20/2013 | Strategy+Business online (free registration)

Most people think of Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" as a handbook for tyrants, but it's time to take a fresh look at the 500-year-old masterpiece, argues Maurizio Viroli. Machiavelli wasn't advocating ruthlessness for its own sake, but rather clarity of vision in pursuit of a worthy goal, Viroli writes. "Machiavelli is urging leaders to devote all of their energy to the accomplishment of something really great, of something memorable, not just the pursuit of power or profit. This is the source of enduring glory," Viroli notes.

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