Beating the Competition

Far too often we dismiss Machiavelli’s legacy because we associate it with the idea of reaching power at any cost.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We feel we live in a society where competition is not so evident or brutal as in Machiavelli’s times. However, under the disguise of today’s good manners and civility, there’s a strong, and growing trend of competition and rivalry. As business become more global, competition becomes harder and fiercer, and we must deal with many dangers and challenges, developing a state of mind and strategies to succeed in a hostile environment.

Machiavelli always gets bad press today. His advice is usually linked with getting what we want through deceit and betrayal. But if we sort the wheat from the chaff, there is much to learn from him:

"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

"I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it."

"Never was anything great achieved without danger."

"The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it."

"The wise man does at once what the fool does finally."

"Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great."

"Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."

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Even if we have the experience, qualifications and aptitudes for the job, some errors in the interview may quickly put us out of the race.

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Those aspiring to managerial positions must learn, before anything else, to behave like grown ups.

Reaching the managerial level and being a successful executive is very similar to reaching adulthood. When we are children, we are protected, and our tutors make life easy for us. Such protection grows thinner as we get older, demanding more and more from us just to keep pace. It's call growing up...

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