Napoleon Bonaparte | Five Important Life and Business Lessons [Video]

NAPOLEON-BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON-ON-STRATEGY, FIVE-IMPORTANT-LESSONS-FROM NAPOLEON, NAPOLEON-ON-LEADERSHIP, THE-33-STRATEGIES-OF-WAR,6Napoleon Bonaparte is considered to be one of the most genius and dynamic military minds of our time. Many of his lessons on strategy, operational command, and battlefield tactics, can be applied towards business and our daily lives. One only has to read about his many triumphs, conquests, and stories of dedication and admiration of his troops. However, it is equally important that we learn from his downfall as well. I have taken the time to compile five important lessons that can be learned from the great military strategist Napoleon Bonaparte. Enjoy…

“Anyone can plan a campaign, but few are capable of waging war, because only a true military genius can handle the developments and circumstances.” – Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821

NAPOLEON-BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON-ON-STRATEGY, FIVE-IMPORTANT-LESSONS-FROM NAPOLEON, NAPOLEON-ON-LEADERSHIP, THE-33-STRATEGIES-OF-WAR,4Earn respect and admiration…

It is better to earn respect and admiration from you advisories, than to be quenched with friendship and love. While hated by his enemies, Napoleon Bonaparte was respected and admired by them. His intuitiveness and quick decision-making under duress allowed him to drop his preconceived notions and focus intensely on the present moment. You need to understand that knowledge and experience have limitations. There is no amount of studying and thinking that can prepare you for the volatility of life. Napoleon understood this concept and realized early that there are no friends in war. You need to conceptualize who your allies are early on in the campaign before deciding to make new ones. Lead from the front, and the rest will follow suit.

NAPOLEON-BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON-ON-STRATEGY, FIVE-IMPORTANT-LESSONS-FROM NAPOLEON, NAPOLEON-ON-LEADERSHIP, THE-33-STRATEGIES-OF-WAR,1Question all your principles and cherished beliefs…

When Napoleon was asked what principles of war he followed, he replied that he followed none. His genius was his ability to intuitively adapt and respond to chaos. His “Adapt and Overcome” mentality enabled him to make the most of what he was given.

“Napoleon was the supreme opportunist. Your only principles should be to have no principles. To believe that strategy has inexorable laws or timeless rules is to take up a rigid, static position that will be your undoing. Of course the study of history and theory can broaden your vision of the world, but you have to combat theory’s tendency to harden into dogma. Be brutal with the past, with tradition, with the old ways of doing things. Declare war on sacred cows and voices of convention in your own head.” – The 33 Strategies of War

NAPOLEON-BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON-ON-STRATEGY, FIVE-IMPORTANT-LESSONS-FROM NAPOLEON, NAPOLEON-ON-LEADERSHIP, THE-33-STRATEGIES-OF-WAR,5Keep the mind young and sharp…

Napoleon, along with all the greatest strategists were childlike and sometimes even acted like children. When faced with a new circumstance, like a child, it is often best to imagine that you know nothing and that you need to start learning all over again. Learn to embrace the creative energy of a young child and the fact that you need to absorb as much information as possible. Do not let your adult mind stagnate your growth.

“Superior strategists see things as they are. They are highly sensitive to dangers and opportunities. Nothing stays the same in life, and keeping up with the circumstances as they change requires a great deal of mental fluidity. Great strategists do not act according to preconceived ideas; they respond to the moment, like children. Their minds are always moving, and they are always excited and curious. They quickly forget the past-the present is much to interesting.” – The 33 Strategies of War

NAPOLEON-BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON-ON-STRATEGY, FIVE-IMPORTANT-LESSONS-FROM NAPOLEON, NAPOLEON-ON-LEADERSHIP, THE-33-STRATEGIES-OF-WAR, ReadingLearn to develop a passion and lust for knowledge…

Napoleon was born in Italy and was raised by a poor family with no political and social status. He openly despised the rich who were given their social status or positions in politics or the military, simply because of their wealth. He resented the fact that their positions in society had nothing to do with knowledge, skill, or leadership ability. While at his military school, he was so poor that he couldn’t afford to socialize and drink with the other cadets. Instead he chose to seek comfort in books. As a result he developed a passion and lust for books and the process of learning. He wanted so bad to improve his families and personal social status that he did nothing but read books on strategy, philosophy, tactics, ect. He believed that no idea was original and that he needed to build his own theories and views through personal study and self-mastery.

NAPOLEON-BONAPARTE, NAPOLEON-ON-STRATEGY, FIVE-IMPORTANT-LESSONS-FROM NAPOLEON, NAPOLEON-ON-LEADERSHIP, THE-33-STRATEGIES-OF-WAR,2Know when to cut your losses…

The Russian Campaign of 1812 was considered the beginning of the end for Napoleon and was partly due to circumstances out of his control. Napoleon developed a level of myopia governed by his past successes and blind ambition to succeed. Napoleon became so overconfident with his past conquests that overtime; even he ignored his own valued strategic principles. Even for someone as detailed and calculated as Napoleon, his insufficient contingency planning led him to return from the Russian Campaign with 10,000 troops instead of the 420,000 that he initially started the crusade with.

The fact is that you need to know when to cut your losses if necessary. Do not let your desire to succeed cloud your judgment. Do not become over-confident, especially after many accomplishments and triumphs, and never attempt an unpopular endeavor in isolation. Always remember that you need to stick to your gut feeling and own principles, including the ones that got you to where you are in the first place. Napoleon began his career with strong ideals meant to restore equality to the people. He crafted the French Civil Code, which is the basis for all civil codes today. He started the Bank of France, and was responsible for much of the architecture you see today in Paris. However, he was ambitious to a fault, and total control became his focus. Power corrupts. Already the rules of Western Europe, his power led him to the desire to conquer yet more countries. He made many enemies in the process, which ultimately led to his downfall, despite his talents. His power also blinded him into taking an extreme risk and leading his men to their unprecedented downfall during the Russian march, which failed do to his overconfidence.

 

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