Week Three – The Prince Chapters 16-19

The Prince

Here are some quotes I got from the reading of The Prince Chapter 16-19.

Chapter XVI – Concerning Liberality and Meanness

“We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean; the rest have failed.”

This is the opposite of that theory of being nice in the Humphrey book. It said that being nice will ultimately help you in the business world. It is different from this quote. I can think of peaceful leaders, but I guess the ones that are mean have an impact. It is a bad impact, but it an effective impact nevertheless. I hope this can change overall. I personally do not see myself doing this approach, but I feel it might happen if being nice is not effective. That is sad. Sometimes being mean ensures that no one will take advantage of you.

Chapter XVII – CONCERNING CRUELTY AND CLEMENCY, AND WHETHER IT IS BETTER TO BE LOVED THAN FEARED

Returning to the question of being feared or loved, I conclude that, men loving according to their own will and fearing according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavor only to avoid hatred, as is noted.

There is always the question for leaders if they should either be feared or loved. It is confusing where you want that line to be drawn. I personally think that I want to be respected, but loved means that they are not seeing you for who you really are. I think that is dangerous also. It is good to find a balance in being a leader with power. People can assume that with the power you need to be fearful. It can depend on the leader.

Chapter XVIII – CONCERNING THE WAY IN WHICH PRINCES SHOULD KEEP FAITH

Therefore. it is necessary for a prince to understand how to avail himself of the beast and the man.

A good leader has a combination of a beast and a man. I think this means that the leader needs to find the strength in both the aspects of a beast and a man. That way the leader is the best leader they can be. They can be strong when they need to. That way he can take on any beast or man.

Chapter XIX – THAT ONE SHOULD AVOID BEING DESPISED AND HATED

“And well-ordered states and wise princes have taken every care not to drive the nobles to desperation, and to keep the people satisfied and contented, for this is one of the most important objects a prince can have.”

In a utopia, it is the goal to keep people satisfied and contented. In the real world that is the desired goal, but it is hard to satisfy everyone. There is a theory that the government limits certain groups, or the middle-class in general to keep the government in power. For people in power, there needs to be a livable condition to live in that society. In a way, it seems that this talks about giving people a livable life, but overall limiting the people from gaining more power.


The “HOW”

Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them; and in the actions of all men, and especially of princes, which it is not prudent to challenge, one judges by the result.

The “how” of this article is that you present yourself to the world to an extent. For the roles you play, like a leader of a team, you need to present yourself as a leader. Your perception of a leader may not always be how you are as a person. You must make those changes to be a good leader. It is insightful because sometimes we think certain people are evil, but most of the time we do not really get to know the real them. We just know them from certain experiences. Those experiences do not embody them as a person. It is good to realize that we need to give people the benefit of the doubt and that we need to pay attention to how people perceive us when we are in leadership roles.

“Nevertheless, he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust renders him intolerable.”

This is another “how” we can be good leaders. It is so easy to be irrational and thinks emotionally. When you oversee other people, you should take a step back and really think about decisions. One mistake could cost other people’s livelihood and jobs. It is again about having the traits of being rational and confident as a leader. Sometimes we also just should fake it until we make it. Whatever decision is made the leader needs to evoke that the decision is the best choice or the people will be nervous and non-trusting.


The “WHY”

“whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.

I think the “why” of the article is seeing that the princes were like leaders. I think this quote is not the most encouraging, but it talks about the reality of how the world works. It is much safer to be feared than be loved. I do not feel like I want to approach my leadership in that style, but I need to know that I cannot stick with one leadership style. I think that I need to make sure I accommodate the leadership style to what is happening to me. I hope I do not have to work with trying to take over a country through war, but I know at points I need to show an image of toughness for my leadership. I do not think people fear me, so I hope I can find a good balance between being respected and liked. It is hard to find a balance, so that means work needs to be put into it.

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