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Strategy Power Plays: Winning Business Ideas from the World's Greatest Strategic Minds by Karen Mccreadie, Tim Phillips

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62 GET OVER YOURSELF

A true prince is warned against what Machiavelli describes as ‘this plague’: that's flattery.

DEFINING IDEA…

Speak truth to power.

~ QUAKER MAXIM

And so to Chapter 23 of The Prince, where Machiavelli cautions his readers against listening to flatterers. It's a bit rich, to be honest, when you read the lavish buttering-up that he gave to the Medicis (his would-be employers) in the first and last chapters of the book. The Medicis weren't stupid people. They must have spotted the irony.

Flattery is just as popular today, if more subtle, and no less dangerous. But like most aspects of leadership culture we've given it a name: it's genuinely called ‘CEO Disease’. If you're a strong boss, you get surrounded by a layer of ...

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