“And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
– Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527), The Prince, Chapter 4
Machiavelli wrote classic books for the ruler an the practical (some would say cynical) side of leadership. The most well known is The Prince, which was written as a guide the the heads of various small city states which made up Italy during this period.
It’s worth scanning. For example, Chapter 23, is titled, “How to Avoid Flatterers.” It mentions, “A wise prince ought to hold a third course by choosing the wise men in his state, and giving to them only the liberty of speaking the truth. . .” However, most of us would no doubt reflect sadly, that we, unlike the Prince, have friends who just tell us what we want to hear. And because they tell use what we want to hear, we remain ignorant of the true nature of things.