Leadership Study of Napoleon Bonaparte

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Leadership Study of Napoleon Bonaparte

This paper will be studying one of the most famous leaders in the world----Napoleon Bonaparte. The structure will be as follows: in the very beginning, there would be a brief introduction to Napoleon Bonaparte. After this, his achievements and how he was great leader will be analyzed in detail. Then I would present his shortcomings. Later on, I would figure out one of the biggest problems he was facing as well as giving suggestions to him about how to solve this challenge. In the end of this paper, several conclusions will be drawn about what we have discussed. Analysis

Before analyzing the leadership issues about Napoleon Bonaparte, I would like to make a brief introduction to him. Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica (a small island, later belong to France) in 1769 and died in 1821. According to Martyn Lyons (1994, p.6) “Napoleon Bonaparte was a member of a large family from Ajaccio”. This provided him great opportunities to study at the best schools and to get along with people in upper class level. And when he was a student, he was excellent. He got good grades in different military courses, especially in the course about how to operate cannons and how to apply strategies of cannons. To sum up, what Napoleon had learnt in school provided him very important knowledge of battles. Latter on, he joint the French Revolutions and was once the leader of The Republic of France. In 1804, he even became the emperor of The French Empire. While he was in power, he was the hero of France, but at the same time a cruel ruler. No one could be perfect. In the perspective of History, he was a great leader, just like the meaning of his name in Italian ----the wild lion. After the generally understanding of Napoleon, here comes the question: The society recognizes him as a great leader. But how was this man great? Four aspects of Napoleon will be analyzed one by one to show the greatness of him. They are the specific skills, vision, persuasion, as well as empowerment. Let us have a look at the specific-skills aspect first. Generally, skills represent all the knowledge and techniques that are related to a specific area. However, by mentioning specific skills here, we specially mean the specific competences. According to Allen, Ramachers, and Velden (2005, p51), “Specific competencies refer to clusters of cognitive prerequisites that an individual requires in order to be able to perform adequately in a given substantive area”. In the case of Napoleon, skills mean the campaign ability, like how to operate guns and cannons, as well as how apply different strategies in different situations. Equipping with specific skills is important to leaders. According to the research of Solow (2004, p79), it is proved that “The more skillful the leader, the more likely that each worker contributes closer to his/her maximum capability”. Therefore, a skillful leader could result in better performances. Napoleon was a skillful leader. This could be seen from his knowledge and strategies about battles. For example, he invented the efficient and effective way of using cannons. He always put the cannons together, instead of dispersing them, to fire on items. He fought back alliances of other European countries many times by applying correct strategies. Besides skills, vision is another important factor. There are many different definitions of Vision. However, they share some similar values. Most of them agree that vision is about the big picture of the company and the followers’ future. According to Kerkpatrick and Locke(1996. p37), “A vision is a general transcendent ideal that represents shared values; it is often ideological in nature and has moral overtones”. Without a vision, followers would not even know what they are supposed to do. In the opposite, a good vision could encourage people to achieve the common goals. As a leader,...