What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness

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9780066620114: What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness

How did the rich and powerful individuals who move the earth get where they are today? Are they smarter? Faster? Better looking? Certainly not. Some are even short and ugly. What, then, is their edge?

The answer is simple: they're meaner. That's all. And if you want to get where they're going, you'll be meaner, too.

The good news is that once you get started, it's easy. Walking in the steps of the Florentine master, Stanley Bing will show you how to be all the Machiavelli you can be. How to beat people who are smarter than you are. How to make other people cringe and whimper when you enter a room. How to get what you want when you want it whether you deserve it or not. Without fear. Without emotion. Without finger-wagging morality. One scalp at a time.

They do it. You can too.

What Would Machiavelli Do? is more than a road map for people who want to get to the top and stay there. It's a way of life you can use at home as well as at the office. A way of seeing other people from 50,000 feet--as teeny-tiny ants you can squish. A simple, detailed plan for those with the courage to leave kindness and decency behind, to seize the future by the throat and make it cough upmoney, power and superior office space.

Some books are not for everybody. This one is. So start reading. Or get out of here. You're beginning to get on our nerves.

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Review:

Machiavelli would feel at home in industry today. You don't need a birthright to be a modern prince--just an impulsive ruthlessness such as he described four centuries ago while trying to get back into the good graces of a Medici nobleman. A clever guy like him could really go places. Stanley Bing, a columnist for Fortune, is also a clever guy. In real life he has another name and works for a media company (a very, very clever person could probably patch together the clues he offers and figure out the company, if not the actual person), and as such he's been our spy behind corporate lines since he first started writing for Esquire back in 1984. In What Would Machiavelli Do? Bing gleefully offers hard-boiled Machiavellian advice about whom to fire in a downsizing (consultants first, secretaries last), how to make employees love you ("Give them perks.... When they're spending your money, you own them"), and why it's important that you also kick ass (one of the ways: "cutting them off curtly when they speak") and take names (so people know you'll not only hurt them, you'll also go after their friends). The overriding lesson of this book is always to love yourself, never apologize for anything you do, and when all else fails, recognize that the truth is flexible, and so can be bent any way you want. What makes all this amorality funny is that Bing plays it straight, putting his ruthless advice into an easily digestible how-to format. Sometimes the only way you can tell it's satire is when he mixes the musings of Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot in with those of modern business figures such as former Sunbeam CEO "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap. Firing people, killing people--same rules, different game. --Lou Schuler

About the Author:

Stanley Bing is a columnist for Fortune magazine and the bestselling author of Crazy Bosses, What Would Machiavelli Do?, Throwing the Elephant, Sun Tzu Was a Sizzy, 100 Bullshit Jobs . . . And How to Get Them, and The Big Bing, as well as the novels Lloyd: What Happened and You Look Nice Today. By day he is an haute executive in a gigantic multinational corporation whose identity is one of the worst-kept secrets in business.

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