8. The Science of Changing Hearts and Minds

The Craft of Changing Minds

“Let not princes complain of the faults committed by the people subjected to their authority, for they result entirely from their own negligence or bad example.”

—Machiavelli

Greek rhetoric, Roman oratory, prophets, polemicists, and politicians—human history is the history of leaders changing people’s minds. Business history is likewise the story of triumphal influence such as Bill Gates persuading IBM to use an obscure operating system called DOS, or failed influence such as Alexander Bell failing to persuade Western Union of the value of his little invention, the telephone. “What use could this company make of an electrical toy?”1

1 Attributed to William Orton, President ...

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