I once lived steps away from Machiavelli’s tomb. Tanto Nomini Nullum Par Elogium. I have applied his philosophy of Statecraft to Businesscraft. I advise owners as he advised rulers.
An Advisor observes reality dispassionately and reacts appropriately, without arbitrary preference or bias, to help businesses generate profit. Machiavelli wrote about this with respect to political leaders to help them establish and maintain power.
Unfortunately, his name is understood negatively.
Machiavelli observed that prosperous States, tyranny, and misery came as a result of philosopher kings, republicans, populists, and dictators. He wasn’t the first to suggest that moral ends can come from immoral means, or immoral ends from moral means. But he most certainly said it best. Because of this, many regard Machiavelli as the inventor of tyranny and the author of a playbook for brutes – as if nothing of the sort existed prior to 1532 AD. Few know that Machiavelli spent several months imprisoned and tortured due to his support for the Florentine republic. I believe actions are the truest expression of the individual. But our generation regards Twitter virtue a more significant measure of man, so I don’t expect my analysis to become the popular view. If Machiavelli’s work is a playbook for anything, it is a playbook to unseat the tyrannical and corrupt, and a sober explanation as to why so many “good” leaders invite decline.
It is better to say that Machiavelli didn’t privilege intent or preference. The result to the State – which is the maintenance of power for the Sovereign and the well-being of the people – was his project.
The result to the business – its profits – which is the maintenance of authority for the executive, the well-being and development of its staff, and the well-being and knowledge of its current and potential customers, is my project.
I work directly with founders, owners, and chief executives to maintain their authority over their business by focusing on what works, not what is preferred.