This is about practical leadership, not theoretical management. The message on every page of The Prince is: this is the real world. Deal with it.
In the dedication of The Prince, Machiavelli says that knowledge is his most precious possession, ‘the conduct of great men, learned through long experience’. It's true that he had the experience: fifteen years of mixing with various rulers, popes and noblemen as a Florentine diplomat. He was well-regarded as a man who got things done.
Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.
~ JACK WELCH
Compared to the ruling families of Italy, Machiavelli was a pretty upright character. He didn't personally conduct orgies like Pope Alexander VI (a Borgia), or ...