Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Lessons in Management from Machiavelli

We have gathered quotes that we think are great philosophies for those working in the newspaper industry. You may just find that you already subscribe to some of Machiavelli’s philosophies without realizing it.

Niccolo Machiavelli was a philosopher, writer and diplomat. You may know him best by some of his works, like “The Prince” and “The Art of War.” However, you may have never considered how Machiavelli’s writings could inform your management style — but they can. Both CBS Money Watch and Business Insider recently took some of Machiavelli’s quotes and discussed how it reflected the author’s business and entrepreneurial sensibilities. We have gathered quotes that we think are great philosophies for those working in the newspaper industry. You may just find that you already subscribe to some of Machiavelli’s philosophies without realizing it.

“Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.”

Above the Fold often discusses the changing times and how newspapers must adapt if they want to stay in the game. With the rise of the Internet and new technologies emerging almost on a daily basis, newspapers really don’t have a choice to stay on the sidelines any longer. If they want to be considered viable news sources and competition to their online counterparts, they should take Machiavelli’s words to heart — it’s time to change with the times. Make your paper’s online presence heard. Take advantage of new technologies. If you don’t have all the knowledge or information to make these moves, make sure there are people on your staff who can help your paper make the transition. The first step is a willingness to change. If you’re stubborn and stuck in the past, then you’re only contributing to the problem.

“Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.”

In order to succeed in the newspaper industry, it’s important to see everything as an opportunity for progress or room for improvement. While some issues may come up and appear more like road blocks than opportunities, you must see them as a challenge that will only strengthen you as a manager, as well as the staff as employees. Innovation and creativity are crucial in these instances. If you don’t rise to the occasion at these tough junctures, your paper will fall flat in comparison to your competitors who take chances and come up with creative solutions to these problems.

“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

Similarly, it’s important to take risks in your work. While you may feel more secure in taking the road more traveled or making a calculated decision where there is less at stake, sometimes the uncertain choice is the better option. Risk-taking can have a bigger payoff in the end and offers more opportunities to learn and grow in your career. Especially right now in the newspaper industry when the climate is very uncertain. We don’t know how newspapers will progress and how they will remain relevant. Now is the time to take risks, because the same old techniques are no longer an option.

“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”

Preserving the status quo is not doing newspapers any favors. If you continue to offer your clients and readers more of the same, they will look to other outlets for their information and advertising. Make radical decisions and change in your newspaper so that it’s still a viable contender and resource. It’s time to question old techniques and then break those rules and forge a new path at your paper.

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

You may be willing to do all of these things: make changes, take chances and come up with creative solutions to problems. However, you must also surround yourself with equally innovative, creative and dedicated individuals on your staff. When hiring, look for candidates that will take initiative and offer new and valuable perspective to the office. With a well-rounded team, your paper is sure to make the grade.