THE PRINCE (Part 5)
Another unintended result of a mercenary brought into play is the loss of the cutting edge of ministry. The mercenary skilled and articulate causes the regular army to relax from their personal responsibility. The Church initially receives a return form the mercenary’s abilities; however trouble lurks. The danger is best seen when under attack. Mercenaries are quite anxious to be soldiers so long as war is avoided, but let war come and they will either desert or flee (p. 52). The church transfer mercenary will more often than not leave when the ministry is under attack. If the pastor relies on mercenary giving to budget and mercenary involvement to manage, he or she sets him or herself up for failure. The church’s financial base and ministry leadership must rely on and be built upon regular soldiers.
The Relevance of the Prince to the Study of Strategic Leadership
Human behavior has changed very little over the ages. How one conducts war on the field of battle in ancient Italy is not much different from the battle grounds of the global economy. The Prince served to show that ancient Italian politics and corporate leadership use many of the same leadership techniques used today - albeit minus troop movement and beheadings.
Yogi Berra was once asked by a sportswriter while he was serving as the manager of the New York Yankees what was the most important thing in developing a world championship team. Berra replied instantly, Hire world championship players (McCausland, 2006).
In sports, enterprise, and government to be a winner one must hire players who win. The winning players are the strategic leaders who can prepare for the global community. In the same manner that Machiavelli viewed his landscape internally and externally, the strategic leadership must have (2006) a system that places the right people in the right places at the right moment. McCausland has several talking points. When speaking on developing strategies he says development must include the recruitment of quality personnel, experiential learning through a series of positions of increasing responsibility, training for specific tasks or missions, and continuous education that considers both policy and process (McCausland, 2006). The prince in his special way and without exception addresses each talking point. At the very least Machiavelli gives the strategic leader concepts to consider, similarities to appraise, probabilities to avoid, and possibilities to attain.
Machiavelli’s writing is at times self serving. When he says my life is going to waste; I cannot go on this way… …Besides there is my wish that these a Medici lords would begin to use me (p. 5), one easily sees his motivation. Most strategic leaders want their life to count. Similarly, for Machiavelli at this juncture in his life, his demeanor was that of a man who wanted a chance to serve his country, make a mark on life, and prove his worth. Are these not the same motivational factors culled in the every major institution of higher learning and Christian ministry? Encouraging students/disciples to learn strategies and techniques to gain a prominent position in whatever field they may desire. Machiavelli’s attitude seems appropriate, praiseworthy, and inline with any person of the 16th or 21st century who strives towards a strategic leadership position.
Machiavelli, N., & Wootton, D. (1995). The prince. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co