The Prince Chapter 23
How to avoid flatterers
A prudent prince should have a select group of wise counselors to advise him truthfully only on matters he asks about. All other opinions from others he should ignore. But ultimately, the decisions should be made by the prince and carried out resolutely. He gives an example of Emperor Maximilian II, who never consulted with others what he planned to do, and when confronted by his counselors of his plans, would change his mind so that no one knew one day what he would do the next. If a prince is given to changing his mind, his reputation will suffer. A prince must have the wisdom to recognize good advice from bad.