'Forget your Charles Handy and your collected works of Tom Peters. Who needs modern management books when none has come close to the original and the best? More than half a millennium has not produced a management guru to touch Niccolo Machiavelli. The Prince is about statecraft, diplomacy and politics but, more importantly, it is the finest leadership handbook ever written.
Why? Not because it espouses the deviousness with which Machiavelli has become synonymous, but rather because it is informed by a crucial insight.
In a post-Freudian world it may seem obvious, but Machiavelli's stunning insight required a great leap of the imagination in high-renaissance Florence.