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What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness
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What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  496 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
What Would Machiavelli Do?

He would feast on other people's discord
He wouldn't exactly seek the company of ass-kissers and bimbos, but he wouldn't reject them out of hand, either
He would realize that loving yourself means never having to say you're sorry
He would kill people, but only if he could feel good about himself afterward
He would establish and maintain a psychotic le
ebook, 176 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2000)
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Jun 16, 2013 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find it amazing that many reviewers cannot see good sarcasm when it hits them in their head. I have read many reviews of this book that mistake it for being actual advice on how to run your business. Some skeptics even suggest that Mr. Bing ought to have put out a disclaimer stating "this is a work of sarcasm".

This book is very funny and I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions.

The book is basically a recipe of what to do if you plan on being a totally self-centered asshole with
The basic joke is good for a little while, but not enough to sustain a whole book, and it's been rendered less humorous by the events of the Bush years. The basic theme is that the author is, tongue in cheek, advocating the adoption of total ruthlessness, abusiveness, and amorality as an interpersonal style. The problem for me is that after all the corporate and political scandals of the last eight years, after the Iraq war, it's not very funny anymore, and I can't read this without seeing the f ...more
Max Correia
May 02, 2014 Max Correia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about business practices in the way Machiavelli might do them. From how to handle your employees to handling your superiors, it teaches unconventional business practices that the author claims works. The book itself uses strong language in a lot of areas. It teaches about grudges, paranoia, and even poor response to criticism as a way of management. "If they feel like there's something you need to know about your behavior or performance, so be it. Let them talk. But make them pay." ...more
Oct 05, 2013 Waseem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This started of promising, and to some extent amusing/entertaining...but I didn't realise the tone and style of book (amusing ..and perhaps bemusing even) will be consistent all the way through...I had an audio version and being honest there were problems with the audio file at times which muted some audio at times, but everytime it would fix itself didn't motivate me to keep listening and catch my enthusiasm again

I'd highly recommend Rpbert Greene's work like 48 laws of power etc which is 100%
Jan 16, 2009 Grey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a tongue-in-cheek tour of bad behavior and its obvious disbenefits, the book is fun. The good writing and humor rescue it from uselessness. Only piece of advice I found worth remembering: [in the text of the need to be ultra-paranoid:] "And for goodness sake, don't forget to leave at least 90 percent of your paranoia at the office! it's a great way to manage your professional life, but as a personal strategy, it stinks!" OK, so it's not really so great professionally, either, but it's a remin ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Lavinia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, non-fiction, in-en
I'm a long, long way from the corporate world, and I'm all in favour of downshifting and simple living, so the applicability of the Machiavellian advice is far from happening. But, hey, I do enjoy humour and business anecdotes!
Miguel Pais
Dec 24, 2013 Miguel Pais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic, really funny book on how evil can help get where you want to, and I loved reading it. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have an open mind, though!
Nov 29, 2014 Will rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not funny. Terrible advice. Also, oddly specific about the examples.
Feb 22, 2017 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Hilarious audiobook, interesting anecdotes, not sure about actual practical advice except maybe when you're climbing the corporate ladder in a brutal environment. I think executive types have this sort of tendency naturally and the book doesn't help those who do not have the natural tendency.
Aug 29, 2012 Mloy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really interesting book and very helpful in understanding business "princes", a.k.a. bosses. I can just hear some business guru spewing the contents of this book during some work seminar/workshop, teaching the attendees about Michiavellian mentality. I appreciate the ideas behind this book and a lot of it makes sense. Some of it actually already applies to me (scary enough) but it will take a little more time for me to be as mean as this book requires.... *sigh* sadly, my loser instin ...more
Dawn Burrell
I liked this book, but didn't love it. It is a very tongue and cheek way to look at the world of business. While I do agree with some of the points Bing makes about being a busines man/woman, some are just very far-fetched and would only really work for high-powered CEO's. Could you imagine going to work and yelling as often and as loudly as you wanted at everyone? Or knowing that your long-time secretary has the trip of a lifetime planned but you coax her into coming into work and canceling her ...more
Barbra Davila
Dec 09, 2014 Barbra Davila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genial, maléfico y sarcástico. Me he topado en mi vida profesional con personas que se adaptan a la perfección con el perfil de este libro y sorprendentemente son existosas!! Si!! Exitosas pero irónicamente solitarias. ¿Despues de todo, para que te sirve tanto éxito si no tienes con quien compartirlo? De mi parte sólo puedo decir que me he identificado en par de puntitos y no me queda más que admitir que existe una fina linea entre el respeto y el miedo, ingredientes necesarios, entre algunos ot ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Philip rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awful-just-awful
I picked up this book for the first time when it was initially released many years ago. I've always enjoyed Machiavelli- Florentine Renaissance internecine politics is a good subject to study early in one's career, but I've learned, being MEAN just get's people mad. I reformed my ways, and now, reading this book again many years later- it just makes me ill. I'm revising my rating and downgrading it with the following quote from another favorite author:

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside ligh
Dec 16, 2014 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun little book that is disturbingly close to real life self-help books.

This is a satirical how-to succeed at life book, purporting to teach the reader how to think and act as a completely A-moral prick. It is full of examples of business types who have made it through the top through sociopathics and prefect selfishness... and bullshit, so much bullshit.

Being 14 years old at this point I think things have moved forward so that much of the humour in the sheer excess of certain actions have beco
John Hales
Jul 20, 2015 John Hales rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I think of self-centered, egotistical, un-caring, mean persons, I cannot believe they know or have experienced much love, happiness, or peace. Stanley Bing, in his little book, promotes being self-centered, egotistical, uncaring, meanness as a way of life that is supposed to bring with it success and power. His philosophy may serve as a crutch to success or compensate little people for their littleness but it is not a recipe for love, happiness, or peace.

Poor Mr. Bing and the little people
Mar 18, 2013 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is possibly the worst book I've ever read. I feel like it was written by a 15 year old angry teenager living with his parents who has smoked a bit too much weed,, believes every conspiracy theory going and is avoided by girls for being a freak.

The fact it was written by a columnist at Fortune magazine will ensure that I never waste my money on an issue of that magazine.

I don't think Hitler, Sadam Hussein, Pol Pot or Slobodan Milosevic are the type of people I want to learn from.
Amit Bohra
Jan 16, 2015 Amit Bohra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I know what machiavelli would do!! he would surely NOT recommend this book....the author failed to understand Machiavellianism in more than one way.Machiavelli said that if love can do the job then fear is not required. this aspect completely ignored by the author . sadly this book has sensationalism and humor which makes it a BESTSELLER . read "THE PRINCE " by machiavelli to get the real thing and ignore this second rate book.
Feb 18, 2013 Froztwolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a bizarre book. The advice is probably valid if all you want to do is succeed in the business world, regardless of your health, happiness and relationships with other people, but most of the points in the book aren't advice I would give to my worst enemy.

Guess I have all this empathy getting in the way of my success.
Nov 08, 2016 Erick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Que haría maquiavelo presenta la visión de Stanley bing en un mundo empresarial, donde los peces grandes se comen a los mas pequeños, sin embargo el autor en su muy maquiavélica forma de pensar escribe lo que quiere, algunos capítulos son bien desarrollados, otros son pura patraña, sin embargo aquellos que están bien estructurados valen la pena leerlos.

Qing Wang
Sometimes people, including me, tend to beautify those who succeed in...well, whatever. This book makes it clear that to succeed in business have nothing to do with being a nice person, and actually, quite opposite. So, a common employee should never mistake the big boss to be a philanthrophist. Don't mix up work and personal stuff. In other words, try to behave, to be professional.
Jun 06, 2011 Inda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this a crazy book i ever read, bergidik rasanya. buku ini bercerita bagaimana cara mencapai kesuksesan dalam bisnis dengan segala cara dan lebih kejam, disini banyak dijelaskan bagaimana seorang machiavelian itu berpikir dan bertindak. sekedar tahu aja sih bahwa ada orang di luar sana yang bisa seperti itu.
Mar 25, 2016 MisterFweem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should probably not find it shocking that the leading candidates from both political parties feature heavily in this book. And not one to read during election season, mind you, unless mild depression is your thing.

I'd like to see Bing update this book with a look at new characters who've popped up since the Clinton Era. I'm sure he'd have plenty of new material to work with.
Nov 27, 2011 Patrick marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Quite surprised I could not get into this book. His columns are funny; however the same set of ideas taken to book length was just too much vitriol for me to swallow. Doubtless hypocrisy on my part, but what can I say? His columns generally leave my chuckling, this left me with a sense my hands needed a good washing.

(Abandoned at 50 pages)
May 12, 2016 Fai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is in line with "Candid " from Jack Welch's "Winning". Just tell people how it is. The author pretty much just tell you to be honest with people. The books seems to tell me that I have to be selfish to be successful. That just not in my elements, and I am pretty sure we can align personal goal to the team's.
Jim Rossi
Apr 19, 2015 Jim Rossi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific short book, laugh-out-loud funny - even more so because it hits on many uncomfortable truths about work, careers, and power. It's been a major inspiration & resource for life, a frequent gift I give, and helped to inspire my own first book, "The Case of the Cleantech Con Artist: A True Vegas Tale.
Barbara Ab
The author is extremely canny. I would say it is a manual based on self-experience. :0) Cynic and smart. You have to take it with a lot of sense of humour even if selfishness is without any doubt the gift of many managers. I did not appreciate the yelling phase to the secretary . :0PPP
Nov 06, 2012 Sabreena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having been a machiavelli myself...I can say the author forgot to talk about mutiny. If you want to rule forever. You gotta be a friend. At least pretend to be one. So the fools will keep voting for you forever and ever. Shouting will only cause mutiny....Now we wouldnt want that now...would we?
Alan Chen
Nov 17, 2008 Alan Chen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
The book is tolerable only in small bites. Otherwise, the lack of flow drags the book down, as each lesson spans 1-3 pages. For context, my book was ~140 pages. The book isn't even funny in a satirical fashion, it's just relentlessly arrogant. Faithful to the philosopher? Maybe. Enjoyable? no.
Jul 20, 2014 Katrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had some pretty funny stuff in it. I am not cut-throat so I couldn't take any of it seriously. I will pass this book on to someone morally challenged enough to climb on people on their way up the ladder.
Feb 23, 2016 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is like an anti-Stephen Covey book. It's hysterical and very enlightening for us fools who work hard and are nice. Pick it up if you fall into this category, you might learn a thing or two about how the world really works. I'm realizing I know many many Machiavellians!!!!
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“Lying for a good business reason has become so prevalent that they had to invent a new, less censorious word for it. They call it positioning, and people get paid good money to do it, lucky for me.” 3 likes
“Anyhow, his basic philosophy was encapsulated in his famous statement, “I have an agreement with my people. They can say what they want. I can do what I want.” 1 likes
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