In 1513, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote a political treatise that was later published as The Prince. Five centuries later, this book remains one of the most influential and controversial tomes on politics and leadership. Machiavelli got a lot of things wrong in that treatise, especially justifying the use of fear as an effective leadership tactic; however, he got one thing very right. He argued that the people surrounding a leader tell others a lot about that leader.
Thanks for your thoughtful response, Joe.
You’re right...violence and fear is extremely effective, but usually just once.
What an insightful post. First let's give Mr. Machiavelli the benefit of doubt. He advocates leading with love and fear. It is only when/if a leader can not handle both, that he advocates for fear as the default. Individuals often want to pretend violence (fear) doesn't work as a tactic. That is naive. It is one of the most effective tactics one can implement. The Spartans were notoriously violent. They used this tactic to keep their subordinates (serfs) in check (Plutarch. ON SPARTA.). This strategy in this day and age is flawed (atleast in the private sector of America). The upcoming generations are not just going to take orders. A lot wish to know the why. If we pummel them when they ask, that is a character flaw in us rather than them. At the same time we need to retain COMPETENT people with CHARACTER (Covey. THE SPEED OF TRUST). To do this we'd be wise to pay well, and earn the people's respect as we ascend the rungs of the ladder.
Thank you for your time.
*We aren't living in Ford's America with the ex-cons and the beatings that were commonplace in the early 1900s. What I constitute leading with fear is belittling, demeaning comments and/or yelling at the subordinate/s.
This is very true.