Antony Jay wrote Management and Machiavelli: An Inquiry into the Politics of Corporate Life back in 1967. He later co-authored the Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister television comedy series.
Management and Machiavelli has held up well over the years. I highly recommend it.
Jay provided these "positive guiding principles" for managers:
- Always take the heaviest responsibility yourself.
- Remember that your own craft skill is not a rampart for your defense but a barrier to your advance.
- Always hunt for the disquieting evidence.
- Spend most of your time among the most powerful group in the organization.
- Win opposition over to your side or at least to neutrality; don't raise your own private army to fight it.
- Remember that thought is a prelude, and not an alternative, to action.
- Look for problems through a telescope, not a microscope.