Machiavelli goes up to the counter and orders four espressos. He begins systematically placing his cups of coffee on tables, kicking out all of the previous customers, and bartering with the baristas until he is in full control of the shop. He begins taking over numerous Starbucks locations throughout the city, and he rises through the ranks until he becomes the new CEO of the company. He has completely reorganized the power structure of the company, although a few baristas have been mysteriously killed. It doesn’t matter. The ends justify the means.
All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger, but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.