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Better to be loved or feared in the relationship?

I wonder how many of you have leaders, friends, family members or maybe even a partner like this ?

Machiavelli Leadership or leadership from the gut.

“whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.

Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you.

And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails? "

So if Machiavelli is right and based on almost 500 years of existence of his book and having been a guideline for Napoleon, Stalin, Mussolini, Henry Kissinger, Richard, the series Game of Thrones, house of Cards and so many companies in their hostile takeovers, you would almost think it cannot be wrong, it works.

All of them ruled with the saying in their mind " the action is accused and the outcome excuses it".

So my question is are they right or wrong or is there more?

For me I would like to join the believe that when we create partnership or leadership that also combines the heart, passion and compassion, as Jack Ma (Alibba) says the Love Q, intelligence of the heart we can lead for centuries where the people above where in power as long as they where not chopped down, and which leader likes to be compared with one mentioned above?

Love to hear your thoughts and ideas.


Professor organisation al behavioural leadership at IE Business School Clinical Hypnotherapist/psychotherapist Executive Coach

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