Machiavelli – Pride or Prudence

‘Smart Alec’ is how you would tag the person right next to you, who can easily outsmart others. Few are different, they keep two faces. They are innocent and hard working to their bosses or any decision maker, and uniquely opposite to cohorts, specially reportees. This feels horrible when you are at the receiving end. You may console yourself with the judgement day, yet the fact that they get ahead, leaves you with sleepless nights.

How do you manage them?

There are 20 employees in my office. Some of our managers favor few. The increments as distributed amongst them. While others never receive them. They hold back the increment at times. Worst, higher percentages are distributed to the special few. Is there any way out to this ?

Source: Increment to his favourites

How would a situation with high dissonance be best managed. Our brain enables us to think and respond. Choosing under high pressure seems difficult as the stakes rise and emotions run high. Remaining indifferent and grateful can easily fly out of the window, under pressure. However, the switch from being in the back foot and observe, whereas stepping out on the front foot and act will rule the show. Here are few of the antidotes to consider, try as you may !

Unpaid trainers: There are zillion courses that you can take to sharpen your EQ. Alternatively, you may choose to work with difficult people and learn to handle them. They will create innumerable situations and blockades that will push you, beyond your maximum level of tolerance. A greater resilience becomes a natural outcome.

Virulent salesman: They would listen to your idea and then brand and sell it as their own. Clue: Frame your sharing strategy. Share your ideas, but not the process to implement it. Specially, keep the pitfalls a secret. Rather make it seemingly easy when you share it.

Out-of -the box thinkers with limited thinking: Often, they are in a mad rush to outsmart others. This makes them spontaneous. Focus on their capabilities to spurt ideas under pressure.

Look at the big picture: When your boss is Machiavelli, as shared in the case, you barely can change anything but your job. Keep every experience as an independent event. Focus on the leadership style.

Try their own medicine on them: Make sure you read their behaviors on what stimulates them to action, their short-term and long term goals, their perception about people, and patterns of their behavior. Closely observe how they oscillate.

Here is an RSA video on  The Divided Brain


  • Anonymous

    Machs have their own place as the ‘impressive managers’. However, Macs fail as leaders as they often lack the stuff to drive on. Usually, the acid test is the challenging economic turbulence of the economy and the markets!