Napoleon - The Master Strategist
“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war”.1 Napoleon Bonaparte
“A leader is a dealer in hope”.2
A freelance advertising copywriter, John Kuraoka, mentioned if according to poet John Dryden “War is the trade of king,” then modern era trade could the ‘warfare’ of businesspeople as they too maneuver for ...view middle of the document...
4 Napoleon Bonaparte was considered a masterful soldier, an excellent administrator and a brilliant individual in the history, who had made use of these factors to win his battles.5 He played a major role in the history and development of military warfare. With audacity, speed and planning, Napoleon conquered territories and ruled France from 1800 to 1815 so completely that the period was known as ‘Napoleonic Era’. As an emperor of France, Napoleon dominated European political and military life. He not only captured vast territory but also influenced armies and governments throughout the world.6 Napoleon always believed in attack, speed, maneuver and surprise.7
Napoleon’s ‘La Grande Armée’ (French word for ‘Big Army’ or ‘The Great Army’) achieved an advantage over their enemies following Napoleon’s flanking strategy, first mover advantage and by living off the land. However, Napoleon also faced major failures in some of his wars and downfall in later stage of life.
The achievements and failures of Napoleon provide several insights to corporate strategists. Several parallels could be drawn from Napoleon’s life by today’s managers.