Sovereign: algorithm

    The "Sovereign" Machiavelli is one of my favorite works. As a guide directly to the ruler, I believe that every boss / director must read this book. And although she is already outdated, I think it would be very useful to keep her advice in my head.

    But it’s hard. Not only because of the amount of information, but also because, depending on the situation, Machiavelli gives different advice.

    It would be nice to structure, I thought.

    The result of the thought was the decision-making algorithm presented in the picture below and created exclusively according to the "Sovereign". The remaining tips, which are not defined for any situation and which must be implemented in any case, are presented below the list. I am sure everyone will be able to extrapolate recommendations to the ruler for the position of leader.

    On another image hosting: link

    • the shading indicates the options that should be paid special attention to;
    • if more than one branch to the recommendations comes from the rhombus, you must choose between these options;
    • if the branches follow the next rhombuses + to the recommendation - then the recommendation should be implemented in any case. For example:

      Do not be hated by the people in any case.

    About cruelty and mercy and what is better: inspire love or fear

    • awe;
    • ignore allegations of cruelty;
    • to refrain from encroaching on the property of citizens and subjects and on their women.

    How sovereigns should keep their word

    • Do not remain true to your promise if it harms your interests or if the reason that prompted you to give a promise has disappeared;
    • look possessing benefactors;
    • if possible, do not move away from good, but if necessary, do not shy away from evil.

    How to Avoid Hate and Contempt

    • assign the affairs that are objectionable to the subjects to others, and do what is pleasing to yourself;
    • make sure that nothing is done that could cause hatred or contempt of subjects.

    Contempt of sovereigns is aroused by inconstancy, frivolity, pampering, cowardice and indecision. One must beware of these qualities as fire, trying, on the contrary, to show generosity, fearlessness, solidity and firmness in every action.

    What should the emperor do to be revered

    • military enterprises;
    • extraordinary deeds;
    • deeds to create for himself the glory of a great man endowed with an outstanding mind;
    • openly declare yourself an enemy or friend;
    • avoid union with those who are stronger;
    • it is necessary to reconcile in advance that any decision is doubtful;
    • to entertain people with festivities and spectacles at the right time for this.

    About sovereign advisers

    • find out what the assistant is worth: if a servant cares more about himself than about a sovereign, he will never be a good servant to the sovereign;
    • try to maintain the loyalty of his minister, repaying his deserts, multiplying his fortune, tying him to himself with a bond of gratitude, sharing responsibilities and honors with him, so that he sees that the sovereign cannot do without him.

    How to avoid flatterers

    • to distinguish several wise people, to give them one the right to express everything that they think, but only when and what is asked and nothing else. It is necessary to ask broadly and about everything and listen to the answers, but make the decision yourself and at your own discretion;
    • it is necessary to behave with each of the advisers so that everyone knows that the more fearless they express themselves, the more they will please the sovereign; but outside of them not to listen to anyone, but to go directly to the intended goal and firmly adhere to the decision;
    • upset anyone who hesitates, uninvited, to give advice;
    • be anxious to notice that someone is for some reason afraid of telling the truth.

    What is the power of fate over the affairs of people and how can it be resisted

    • persistence in the way of action;
    • change character in the mood over time.


    I ask you strongly not to name the stylistic performance. And it’s softer to express dissatisfaction :) The goal was to do it not beautifully, but more or less conveniently and informatively.

    Of course, this scheme does not replace the book, but I think how the memo works. Therefore, I highly recommend reading the work.

    Thanks for attention.

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