I first posted this in November 2012, but since I'm working on a blog relating to the upside of Machiavelli's Prince I wanted to prep my readers. It wasn’t the Godfather’s Michael Corleone who first uttered this well-known dictum. Actually, it came from Machiavelli's "The Prince," the definitive primer for how to be a dictator and a politician. As I'm going to say next week, Machiavelli still matters. Furthermore, politics and business demand dirty hands, but there's actually nothing wrong with that. The ethics are simply different. Business execs and politicians shouldn't care. So stay tuned!
As a manager or leader it is inevitable that we’ll want to add to our knowledge base, try to sell ideas, get people on board and even change the direction of our organization. One of the involved persons just might be your enemy. That’s my basic rationale for acting on Machiavelli’s instinct.
In the business setting, I refer to “enemy” as a person you have to interact with, someone who’s competing for your resources, who doesn’t follow through on his commitments, whom you don’t trust, with whom the “chemistry” isn’t there, or who disagrees with your perspective from the ground up. These. . .