Are You Naked?

Nikki Wheeler
3 min readApr 30, 2024

Why Ignoring Good Counsel Leads to Naked Truths and 5 Things CCOs Can Do to Guide Leaders Down the Path to Wisdom

In the annals of history, tales abound of leaders who, intoxicated by their own power and enamored with their own voices, tragically ignored the sage advice of those around them. From the timeless wisdom of Machiavelli, who understood true intelligence lies in surrounding oneself with astute minds, to the cautionary fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where flattery and sycophancy masked stark nakedness, the message remains clear: to shun good counsel is to court catastrophe.

In the court of political intrigue, Machiavelli stands as a paragon of shrewd leadership. His insights into power dynamics and governance reverberate through the corridors of history, but perhaps none is more prescient than his recognition of personal limitations. Machiavelli, cognizant of his own fallibility, surrounded himself with a coterie of advisors whose intellects complemented his own. His brilliance, not just his ideas but in his humility to recognize he was not the sole repository of wisdom.

Yet, in stark contrast, we witness contemporary echoes of the Emperor’s folly. In boardrooms and halls of power, leaders strut about, oblivious to their naked truths, insulated by a retinue of yes-people and sycophants. The Emperor, in his arrogance, parades before his subjects…

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Nikki Wheeler

Dynamic communications professional with a passion for travel, a penchant for adventure and a never-ending sense of wonder. Author of See. Spot. Run.