Empire Building in the 21st Century: Leadership Lessons from Alexander the Great |
We no longer live in the era of conquerors, and the story of Homer merely resonates within the walls of the classroom. The times have changed indeed, and if Alexander the Great were still alive, seeing everything that’s happening to the world with his own eyes, would he have wished to be born in the period of Hellenism instead? Perhaps, and there is a purpose to the life that he lived. His determination to live a life well-lived was not put to waste, because centuries later, we are able to discover the true essence of leadership.
This paper will aim to present Alexander the Great, his achievements and ...view middle of the document...
Alexander the Great, although he lived centuries ago, seemed to have exemplified the flexibility in his mental attitude. Table A below will somewhat summarize the events that transpired in Alexander’s life and how they exhibited the traits indicative of a flexible mindset.
Table A. Flexible Mindset, as described in “Mindsets for Managers”
Flexible Mindset Traits | Alexander the Great |
Broad outlook with a positive mental attitude – critical asset in times of change | He always looked at the big picture and never lost sight of his vision. When he conquered the Persian Empire (334 BC), despite knowing that the Persians outnumbered his army, he devised a tactic to triumph over the ports and control the incoming supplies from the Persian ships. |
Willing to accept to information, possibilities and inter-relationships | One of the key factors that led to his success was reliable military intelligence. This was established through the various relationships he launched every time he liberated a city. Also, during his conquest of India, he listened and took counsel from the Brahmins, who were eminent Indian philosophers. |
Seeking alternative ways forward, with the underlying assumption that there is a solution | As simple as it may sound, but the mental flexibility was evident when Alexander sliced the Gordian knot. This event later on became a known metaphor for an obstinate predicament getting resolved by a courageous lash (“cutting the knot”). |
More resilient mentally, more flexible, and creative in their responses | When he crushed the Thebes revolt, Alexander was able to quickly respond to the rebellion and dissolved it in the span of 14 days. |
Breadth and focus: Need to cultivate an intellectual ability to combine the broad picture (breadth) together with an ability to focus on the critical issues | He utilized his intelligence and physical strength to pursue his vision. Despite the trials that he encountered along the way, he was able to institute himself as one of the greatest and richest conqueror and liberator of all time. |
Essential Roles of a General Manager
Another lesson in this course was an exposure to the roles and responsibilities of a general manager. Apparently, general management can be given structure through the definition of roles, despite the wide coverage it embraces, which comprises the entire organizational unit. Within the general manager’s sphere of influence, his/her roles are overlapping and the key duties include decision-making, integrating the firm’s efforts, overseer of the situation in which the company is working in, and strategic information disseminator, just to somehow name a few.
Alexander the Great played many of those roles that a general manager needs to demonstrate. He often foresaw the challenges, not as limitations to what he can do, but alternative problems that had corresponding redefined solutions. In short, every dilemma was just another solvable predicament. It...