11.07.2019 in Book Review

The New Machiavelli; Chapter 1 Review Essay

In the world of business, success in business entails a lot of things more so when it comes to leadership. Many forces exists that determine how a person is going to fair in a business which he leads. To become a leader may require that there is the help of another person who have achieved a lot in the world of business or in some instances some people who lead very successful businesses may have inherited the business from some related people when the business was already built on a very strong foundation. Other people who have managed to make it through business successfully are those who come up with innovations where by in most cases this kind of innovations are marked with the individuals being awarded patents for the protection of their innovations which make them move to greater heights in the world of business.

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In chapter one of The New Machiavelli by McAlpine, the author begins by briefing us on how people get to succeed in business leadership and he points out the two ways through which it is achieved which are: through the assistance of another person whom he refers to as the patron or through inheritance of the business or coming up with rewarding innovations. People who achieve success in this manner don’t require assistance from anyone. In this first chapter, he opts to first concentrate on the group that succeeds through the assistance of a patron.

McApline introduces us to the main character in the book identified as Machiavelli. He describes him as a person who strongly believed that, by giving gifts to his patron will make him win the attention of the patron an act that the author says was a great mistake which made Machiavelli not to secure a job. The author points out some desired characteristics of a good patron who is focused on nurturing a person who will emerge a successful leader in future. In connection to this point, McAlpine says that the patron only requires the attention of his successor in order to make him a success. The author also adds that flattery is a necessity in the process of becoming successful although to be successful largely depends on the individuals’ character. To elaborate on this, he quotes Oscar Wilde who was once quoted saying “Anyone who does not believe in flattery clearly has never been flattered”. The author advices that, anybody intending to search for a patron should focus on checking whether the intended person meets the qualities of good leadership.

In this first chapter, Machiavelli’s philosophy of rewarding patrons is well reflected by the fact that, the author provides the reader with the requirements for winning the attention of a patron and also tells us how Machiavelli failed as result of his philosophy where he warns “certainly, we should remember, Machiavelli did not get the job”. Machiavelli thoughts therefore made the author to focus on why they can’t be practically applicable in the business world. The author points out how the modern business is built on the basis of strong leadership which is comprised of originality by saying “A leader needs the capacity for original thought, not just the ability to repeat the thoughts of others”. Generally this first chapter plays a great role in forming the basis for the development of the book. It prepares the reader for what to expect in the following chapters as well as enlightening the reader on the requirements for making it in business leadership. The language used is very simple for the reader to understand with relevant examples in place. The idea of patronage is a classical one.


As far as chapter one is concerned, the concept of patronage in a business is very crucial in the making of successful leaders. It is therefore wise to emulate successful patrons if at all one is focused on moving to greater heights is business leadership.

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