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Machiavelli Was Right, Become a Kingmaker
By Colle Davis

Machiavelli wrote The Prince in an era of monarchs and cruel despots (15th and 16th Century). He was advising those seeking a higher station in the realm and who wanted to stay alive. Those serving the King/lord were sycophants, schemers, and hangers-on who had learned to stay in good graces. The French King Louis XIV codified courtly behavior, had it written on cards, and this ‘ticket’ became known as ‘etiquette.’

“To play the game, you have to know the other
person’s rules so you can break them.” – Dalai Lama

In my four decades of working as a coach with executives, politicians, business owners, and others holding high levels of lofty power, I have noted a pattern. First are those who want to become leaders capable of creating policy and profits. These clients climbed the career ladder faster than they thought possible with the help of coaching.
Next, there is a much smaller group with vivid dreams of riding the momentous surge created by their peers’ progress, surviving the setbacks, and rolling with the changes. Over time (years actually), I began to recognize that the smaller group were astute, intelligent, and remarkable people, and they were the kingmakers.
PLEASE NOTE: All due credit goes to Queens as well as Kings. When queens were in power, the term kingmaker was used. I’ll use the term throughout this piece because it describes the actions, not the gender.

Here is the hardest guideline to accept for becoming a kingmaker. There are no rules; this is the path of a modern-day Prince, and there are identifiable behaviors and tools required to move quickly toward the pinnacle of success while remaining intact and unblooded.

“This information covers the Tools of The Game, not the Rules of The Game
because there are NO RULES to The Game. Again, there are NO RULES
except those used by others to restrict themselves. One more time:
The Game itself has NO RULES.” – The Palace Coup by Colle Davis
Dean of the University of Massachusetts’ Worcester Medical School, Dr. Aaron Lazre, a prominent psychiatrist, teaches his new physicians the art of listening skills.

While the typical doctor interrupts their patient after only 18 seconds, the average patient takes 65 seconds to explain their problem fully. Research shows that an average patient has three symptoms that prompt them to schedule a doctor’s appointment. If the patient never has a chance to tell the doctor about their second or third symptom because the doctor has interrupted them at 18 seconds, the doctor may misdiagnose, and the results could prove fatal.

Dr. Lazre tells the physicians in his ‘listening classes’ that even listening for the full 65 seconds is not enough. When the patient has stopped talking, Dr. Lazre encourages the doctor to make eye contact with the patient and say, “Is there anything more?” Only by practicing these good listening skills can a doctor begin to know how to treat the various symptoms of his patient.

Companies suffer if their corporate culture fails to stress the importance of listening when responding to the needs and complaints of their customers. According to research released by Customer Care Measurement & Consulting:
  • If a customer is unhappy about a product or service, 90% of unhappy customers tell their friends about a bad experience.
  • 57% of them will take their business elsewhere.
  • An alarming 62% just want to vent or tell their side of the story.
  • 59% want an apology.
  • And only 52% want their money back.
    Listening gives you deep insight into how the other person processes information. They let their guard down when they share because they love to talk. The more questions you ask, the more they share, finally getting to the good stuff.

    The reason women make better leaders is they are better listeners. With my male clients, the first step is to get them to ask more questions, listen carefully, ask more questions for clarification, and then respond as briefly as possible. Women do this naturally because they help each other and their families by listening.

    Efficient leaders are excellent listeners. Their power comes from the knowledge they gain, carefully applying the information, and rewarding their people for jobs well done.

    How can you become a better leader? Listen carefully, ask questions, and only give people enough information to ask for clarification. This process gives your people the authority to do their jobs best. They will do exactly that because you have shown that you trust them.
    Work with me as your Coach. You will achieve different results by doing anything different than you currently do. Guaranteed. See the rest of our website or follow us on LinkedIn for more tips and tricks.

    Contact me if you want more suggestions on how to reap bigger rewards. Or, if you really want to increase the size of your rewards quickly, hire me as your coach.


    For help, contact us for more tips and suggestions on becoming an expert contact me. Colle Davis cdavis@mycoach.com or 804-467-1536 (EST) or set up a complimentary meeting via Zoom.