Machiavelli’s The Prince is famous a written “instructions” to his superiors about how to rule effectively and often brutally. Many believe that Machiavelli was the brute, but he was really just the man behind the throne trying to avoid the fate (often death) of unstable rulers.
“…you’re doomed. Doomed to the middle. Doomed to be one of those who are acted upon, not one of those who act. That’s all right. We can take care of that. This book will take you by the shoulders, shake you, and make you begin to live your sorry life differently. To take stock of a situation and ask yourself, before you act: What would Machiavelli do? And the answer, in almost all cases, is: Whatever is necessary.”
When my son was looking at business colleges, we had the pleasure of talking to the chairman of one of the programs after he gave a talk about business ethics classes. While the university requires that all business students attend ethics classes, he thought that the need for them was limited. He said that if you don’t act ethically in business, you will not last in business. The word about your character gets out and people will not deal with you.
What do you call two-dozen lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
A good start!
I went to college to become an engineer a long time ago. As I look back at my first job when I got out of college, I wasn’t really prepared to do engineering. Not long after I started, I was given an assignment to design a structure for a bridge for a proposal. I spent the next six hours doing as I was taught in school. By the end of the day I turned in my design. My boss took my pages and reviewed the design and began laughing. Not reaction that I was hoping for and not a great confidence builder.