The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli for business

Chapter 3

Niccolo Machiavelli
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Chapter three for your business

Tips for acquisition and new management positions

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli carries a certain mystique in our modern society. Written in 1513 to the new, young ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici, as a guide to being an effective sovereign. Today the book is still very popular despite its cold, unethical view on managing people.
Because it makes sense--a manager can take the lessons taught, adjust them for the workplace and then carry out the plan. The profit driven capitalist society is a cold, harsh place and the ideas put forth for managing  people in 1513 are still just as effective today.

Lessons for business from Chapter 3 of the Prince by Machiavelli

Chapter 3 of the prince puts forth five arguments for being an effective ruler of a newly acquired territory. In the business world this is interpreted as a new acquisition of a competitor or a new management position in an organization foreign to you. The main points to effective take over, in chapter three, are as follows:

1. A Leader Should Take Up Residence In a New Territory  In our modern world when you acquire a new business or a new satellite office it is important to set up an office there. With a consistent presence your new employees will find it easier to appeal to you directly. You won’t just be a name on their paycheck. You are another human being that they can get to know, get to like, and become loyal to you in time. The other side of having an office in your new revenue stream is discouraging dissenters. There will be trouble makers everywhere. No matter who you are certain employees will buck new management remember that “When the cats are away the mice will play”.

2. A Leader Should Colonize His New Territory If you have a set of superstars in your repertoire, that are willing to move, use them. Colonize your new office with some of the people you are most comfortable with. It may sound harsh but a few employees may have to be replaced with your people, maybe trade out the old H.R. dept with your team or a sales manager.  The costs will be low to you, the damage caused to others will be minimal, and the benefits innumerable. The injured employees will pose no threat being that they will be few. The remaining will be easily pacified and somewhat fearful of their own replacement. This can quickly create order in the new environment while setting up an immediate communication with employees you can already trust to give you an honest report on what’s happening in the trenches of day-to-day operations.

3. A Leader Shall Empower the Small leaders In the new office you will quickly spot the leaders in the different departments that lack any title making them a leader. By making these few the leaders they deserve  they will develop an instant loyalty to you and pass along the goodwill to the people in their departments. You will need as many supporters as possible in the early days of the transition and these newly recognized leaders will be your most effective tool. It doesn’t have to mean huge pay raises for these few, in fact most employees respond better to the recognition for their hard work and leadership abilities. To the same notion, any super powers in the office that are showing resistance will have to be removed before their own mutiny spreads.