Oct 23, 2022

The Perils of Taking the Lead

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things; because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.”

- Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The Prince

Commenting on this 500-year-old bit of wisdom, J. Storrs Hall, author of Where Is My Flying Car?, writes:

“It still holds true today as much as it did in Renaissance Italy. Any time there is a stratification in a given field, it could be money, it could be political power, it could even be merely accrued experience and influence therefrom – there will be both incentive and opportunity for those at the top to oppose and thwart attempts to change the way things are done.”