Leonidas - Leadership Skills

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Leonidas was the king of Sparta between 488BC and 480BC. The movie “300” narrates the story of Leonidas leading 300 Spartan “body guards” and fighting to death against the massive Persian army led by “God King” Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Prior to the start of the war, Leonidas knew that his army was hugely outnumbered and knew with certainty that his move against the Persians was a suicide mission. His intention was to delay the fast approaching Persian army from reaching the heart of Sparta by using a narrow mountain pass in Thermopylae to his advantage. The movie concludes with the brutal killing of Leonidas and his men by the massive Persian arrow barrage. Even though the battle was won by the Persians, the sacrifice and resistance of the 300 Spartans against the one million Persians served as a moral victory for Greeks and helped the different Greek clans to unite against the invading Persians. Leonidas went through a rigorous military training starting at the age of 7 through the age of 30. He was taught to endure hunger, pain, cold, fear, natural calamities and wilderness dangers. He was trained never to retreat and never to surrender. The training also taught him to steal and to utilize bare minimal resources to survive in adverse conditions. By the end of the training period, his biggest value in life was to consider service to Sparta and death in battlefield for Sparta as the greatest glory of life. His interests and motives were directed towards upholding the Spartan cultural values of respect, honor, freedom and justice. When the Persian emissary threatened the Spartan king, with heads of conquered kings, tales of slavery, King Xerxes’s military power, and demanded a token of submission, Leonidas immediately kills him to convey the strong consistent message about the fate of people who tries to jeopardize Spartan values to the conspirators and to his followers. By Spartan law, Leonidas was forced to consult the “Euphors”, old...
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