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Leadership Of Napoleon Bonaparte Essay

1808 words - 8 pages

Napoleon who became general and later emperor of France, is without doubt one of the greatest military and political leaders of all time. He has dominated people’s imaginations and become an icon mostly associated with his exceptional tactical brilliance, political power and ambition. His accomplishments has made him extremely famous to this day and promoted him to the legendary status. To understand how he reached this status, Napoleon’s leadership should be examined through leadership theories. Fred A.Jr.Manske states in his text “What is Leadership?” that leadership mainly involves creating a vision and making the followers committed to this vision. Sidney Hook in his ...view middle of the document...

All such evidence involves his great vision, amazing accomplishments such as military victories that were won through his sharp intelligence and persistence, and his unique relationship based on mutual-interest with his troops and his recognition and power values, demonstrate his legendary leadership.
Napoleon has a vision of creating a glorious France which unifies the Europe under a single political power. Manske argues that having a compelling vision that can provide a purpose to struggle for, is a fundamental requirement for effective leadership. He also highlights that this vision must be capable to inspire and energize followers and unify them under the single power. (5)Likewise, Napoleon’s vision of creating a Powerful France was embraced by the entire French nation. Frenchmen did not hesitate to join the French army, when Napoleon ordered to execute mass conscription because they were aware of the fact that they had an opportunity to change the world and obtain ultimate glory and prestige for their country and themselves. As Goethe points out that “Everyone who has served under Napoleon has shattered the world, nothing appears impossible.” Countless military victories of Napoleon and his troops have attested that his vision was more than just a fantasy and could alter the world drastically. Every troop in his army was aware that they were shattering the world and they were under the command of the only man who has a vision and ability to achieve this at that time. Because of this Napoleon could effectively inspire and energize his troops even in battles which seem very hopeless just by his presence on the battlefield. French soldiers were willing to march to hell under Napoleon’s command. To clarify this point Blaufarb states that “Napoleon encouraged a real sense of camaraderie between himself and his men.”(39)The way his troops felt about Napoleon is very intimate unlike the other leaders’ which are contemporaries of Napoleon. His troops even called him “Little Corporal” which testifies the unique bond forged between Napoleon and his men.(39)This unique bond effectively ensured that every soldier in his army were ready to die to bring Napoleon’s vision into concrete existence. Additionally, consistent with his relationship with his troops, Napoleon’s another vision is to create a social structure which negates nobility and rewards merit regardless of wealth or birth right. According to his vision even basic soldier could become a general. Nobility and aristocracy had no importance whatsoever. A.D.Harvey states in his text “Napoleon the Myth” that Napoleon became the fierce opponent of established monarchies based on strict rules of aristocracy. (30)Napoleon wanted to eliminate these monarchies all over the Europe and replace their values with the ideals of French Revolution. It is plausible to think that this vision was compelling for vast amount of lower - class people in Europe which was tyrannized by the monarchies...

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