Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, is sort of a reference guide on how to become a powerful leader. It is basically a book that lists out all the characteristics and values of Machiavellianism and how those values serve to help the prince gain power and retain power. What I got out of reading The Prince is that , if one desires to become a powerful leader, one needs to act and think in a certain manner. There are essential materials a prince needs to master and definite guidelines he needs to abide by in order to succeed his leadership role and execute his power at full potential.
In my organizational psychology class (PSYCH260), our instructor also brought up the topic of Machiavellianism and how it affects individual performance at workplaces.
Everyone in lecture took a small test, only ten questions, which generated a score that showed how closely are we tied to Machiavellianism. People who got scores above average started to ask questions about personalities, preferences, mindset, and etc. In the end, our instructor summarized that Machiavellianism is important to answering the following two questions. First, how successful do people with high score on Machiavellianism perform at workplace? Second, how strong is the correlation between high Machiavellianism score and leadership roles in organizations?
According to lecture, multiple psychology research findings have found that people who score relatively high on Machiavellianism tend to have more deliberate self-presentations. This indicates that “high machs” appear to be more confident and self-assured, which means that they do have a greater possibility to become leaders. It is suggested that people who are “high machs” are more inclined and better fits to specific occupations such as psychiatrists, attorneys, judges, psychology PHD students, and etc. I honestly find this statistic interesting and relatively accurate because from my understanding of Machiavellianism, I think Machiavellianism pays close attention to strategic thinking, speech, mindset, and self-assertion, which are all necessary characteristics that associate with the occupations I mentioned above. On the opposite side, people who are “low machs”, scoring relatively low on Machiavellianism, are more likely to become scientists, surgeons, and accountants.
It is interesting to know that a political theory like Machiavellianism can be stretched from the political field into the psychological field. In politics, Machiavellianism serves as an important aspect to how we perceive and judge leaders and politicians. Meanwhile, Machiavellianism is also considered an important aspect in psychology in which it serves as a standard base to understand personalities and how individual’s work performance and status may be affected by the relative score on Machiavellianism. It is for sure to know that Machiavellianism has nothing to do with personal intelligence but it is for sure that it affects highly on individual characteristics and might be a key factor to occupational decisions.