Sunday, November 11, 2012

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, 52 Ideas Interpreted - Tim Phillips

I read this book by Tim Phillips first, before I got my hands on the original 'The Prince' by Niccolo Machiavelli, his interpretation of 52 ideas of Niccolo Machiavelli for the modern day world. I made some notes of a few thoughts he expressed one way or another, either his own or someone else's.

'Preparation isn't about hoping for the best; it's about having a strategy to cope with the worst, whatever that takes.'

'Nastiness works too - nothing says 'obey me' like a bloody head on a fence post.'

'Use power or lose it. Power is the ability to change things. Use it.'

'A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman thinks of the next generation.'

'Troublemakers must be caressed or crushed. They will try to avenge slight injuries but not if they're very serious.'

'If you don't know what's going on, drop yourself in the middle of it.'

'Support weak neighbours. They'll help you achieve your ambitions.'

'Aim high. Tough targets produce lasting results. Only weaklings go for easy targets.'

'Act like a man of thought. Think like a man of action' - Thomas Mann

'In mergers, get cracking. Push them hard to integrate in days. Obliterate the past. Bulldoze offices.'

'Talent+Opportunity+ Drive = Success'

'Leaders are successful because they're right for the moment.'

'Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.' - Frederick Douglas

'Don't talk about it. Do it. If you have to tell people you are powerful, you aren't. Your acts should show it.'

'Stand up. Bullies have power over you if you consent and let them use it.'

'You can have power over people as long as you don't take everything from them. But when you've robbed them of everything, he's no longer in your power.'

'To be a leader, look for the jobs, however small and nasty - where you can make the difference.'

'The act of policing is, in order to punish less often, to punish more severely.' - Napolean Bonaparte

'When you criticise be unemotional and be direct, be brief and be factual, and end the conversation. This is not about humiliation but about leadership.'

'Cut out middle men.'

'Don't make the same mistakes again. It will test the loyal followers.'

'Appease powerless people when it doesn't cost you anything to do so. They will respect you for it. Earn people power.'

'Under pressure, defend the important stuff.'

'The buck stops here. Make it clear that your authority comes with the job and never negotiate it.'

'Ally with institutions and leaders we don't question.'

'Do it yourself. If you want to conquer, you need people who are committed to the cause.'

'Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.' 
- Napolean Bonaparte

'Take the tough decisions. If you're in charge do.'

'A leader shall personally lead his armies.'

'Partners spell doom.'

'Prepare for the worst. Prepare for disaster when there isn't a disaster happening.'

'Be physically and mentally fit to be a leader. Discover your capabilities. Train your weakest attribute.'

'Keep bad habits private. Build your image.'

'Stop being nice. Accept your vices.'

'Be a miser.'

'Better feared than loved.'

'Mercy is overrated.'

'Bestial strength and cunning are advantages. As a leader you need to know when to use them.'

'Deceit is easier than you think.'

'Keeping your word is not a good idea if it damages you.'

'Men judge more with their eyes than hands.'

'Seeming to have virtue can be useful.'

'Tell things your way.'

'Encourage the enemy.'

'Keep them guessing. Launch new campaigns. Keep them busy.'

'All courses of action involve risk. Face it.'

'Celebrate milestones. Perform acts that display munificence and affordability.'

'Keep your manager in place. Keep them in control.'

'Be careful of flattery.'

'Change your mind but not too often. Don't sit on the fence always. Make decisions early.'

'Set your setbacks right yourself. Accept mistakes and set them right.'

'Look to your future, not your past, for inspiration.'

'I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.' - Ralph Nader

'Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.' - Langston Coleman, American Football Player

'Unless you do your best the day will come when, tired and hungry, you will halt just short of the goal you were ordered to reach, and by halting you will make useless the efforts and deaths of thousands.' - General George Patton.

'If you trust luck, eventually luck is bound to run out.'

'Copy ideas.'

'Say what you mean. Name names and say exactly what you mean.'

'You've got faults. So does everybody else.'

'Nothing brings honor to a new ruler as new laws and practices.'

The book by itself could have been better presented I felt. Some ideas did not connect to the core idea to me. But there are takeaways certainly for those who deal with power of any kind or for those who wish to get there.


Rajendra said...

Interesting chap, this Machiavelli.

Harimohan said...

Very interesting indeed. And very practical too, some of them.