Parents continuously make promises to their children… “Follow my instructions and things will be better for you.”
CEOs make promises to their employees… “If we operate this way, we will all make money.” Salespeople to customers… Nonprofit directors to donors…
Leaders seem to be in the business of making promises.
Interestingly, if you’re not making any promises (or if nobody is interested in your promises), you’re not a leader.
It would appear, then, that leaders must concern themselves primarily with the promises they will make, to whom, how the promises will be fulfilled, and how to structure the promise statements with precision where possible and ambiguity as needed to accommodate changing information and circumstances.
In this model, exemplar leaders promise enticing things and consistently deliver on their promises — as stated, and as interpreted.
To Machiavelli’s point, it would appear that the majority of emphasis is on the ends (i.e. fulfilled promise). And that the ends will tend to justify the means. Under conditions of information saturation, exposition of the means (lengthy) must compete with revelation of the ends (immediate). Exposition will not beat revelation without significant effort.
All very interesting…