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Ancient Lessons for Business - The Prince Part I: Machiavelli’s Lessons On Being A Boss (and a Good Person, Too)

Part I: An Update on "To Be Feared is Better to Be Loved"

For the first in a recurring series, this two-part post will delve into modern updates of classic lessons. In his classic The Prince, Italian Renaissance Philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli discusses the difference between being loved and being feared.

Lessons for the whole leadership team

"If you cannot be both feared and loved, choose to be feared"

Today, most managers and integrators should not aim for actual fear. However, Machiavelli’s lessons apply well if we paraphrase his word “fear” with the more appropriate “respect.”

Machiavelli's Advice for Level 10 Meetings

Rising integrators in an organization, especially young ones, tend to want to be liked by everyone on their way to success. While their hearts are often in the right place, this kind of people-pleasing can be downright disastrous. Of course, politeness and kindness are vital to the open and honest cultures companies running EOS work to build.

However, consensus management does not work. On a healthy, an integrator cannot (and should not) seek to always get total agreement or risk ending in that typical repetitive phase indefinitely. Based on our experience, the need for a tough final call to be made over a disagreement happens about 20% of the time.

The Makeup of Level 10 Meetings (L10 Meetings)

Integrators Need to Make Tough Calls.

If integrators are feeling skittish about frustrating those on the opposite side of their decisions, share this insight we often give as EOS implementers: Some people may be frustrated with the integrator shortly after a tough call. However, if they do not make those tough calls swiftly and effectively to get into the “Solve” phase, everyone will CERTAINLY be frustrated with them over time.

A good integrator struggling with tough decisions desired to be liked can thereby actually be their strength in approaching decision-making. Often, this framing sets them free and they are able to start solving without any mental blocks.

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