Where Machiavelli went wrong

Leaders should overcome any squeamishness about the idea of power and start focusing on what it is and how to maintain it if they want to stay at the top.

“It’s naive to think about leadership without also thinking about power,” said Sebastien Brion, an assistant professor at IESE business school in Barcelona. “You need willingness to reflect on what you did to get where you are, what you are doing and what you can continue to do to maintain that power — and on what you are doing that could lead to a loss of that power.”

One of the reasons many people resist doing this, openly at least, is that power is something of a dirty word. Much of this can be attributed to Niccolo Machiavelli’s book The Prince, which equates power with manipulation. Brion, however, casts it in much more neutral terms: “It is simply control of resources that others are interested in having and that are important to their success.”

Read more in The Sunday Times