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Monday 9 March 2015

Using the Levers of Power: Art or Science?

“It is much safer to be feared than loved,” writes Niccolo Machiavelli in The Prince, his classic 16th-century treatise advocating manipulation and occasional cruelty as the best means to power.

Guided by centuries of advice like Machiavelli, we tend to believe that attaining power requires force, deception, manipulation, and coercion. Indeed, we might even assume that positions of power demand this kind of conduct—that to run smoothly, society needs business or political leaders who are willing and able to use power this way.

I cannot disagree more….. In fact, I would take it one step further and say that as seductive as Machiavelli’s notion is, he is dead wrong.

I believe power is wielded today most effectively when it’s used responsibly by people who are attuned to, and engaged with the needs and interests of others. It is a fact that empathy and social intelligence are vastly more important to acquiring and exercising power than are force, deception, or terror.

For More:  Using the Levers of Power: Art or Science?

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