Some people love Napoleon Bonaparte, some people don’t like him. I don’t fall on either of these sides of the spectrum, but I do respect him. The man was one of the greatest leaders ever to walk this planet called earth. He rose from the ranks of the army during the helter-skelter years of the French Revolution to become the man who united a country, conquered a continent, and became an emperor. That is some amazing feats for one man to accomplish.
History calls him one of the greatest leaders of all time, not just because he was able to create an empire out of chaos, but also because he was able to conquer with boldness and creativity. Napoleon had many positive traits, but for the purpose of this blog, I am going to just focus on only one of his traits: dedication.
One thing that I have learned as a leader is that dedication is vital. My advice to you when you find yourself in a position of leadership is to follow Napoleon’s dynamic instruction: “When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.”
Napoleon was dedicated to expanding his empire, in which “Take Vienna” became his lifelong principle as he won battle after battle and conquered land after land. Napoleon did not become an emperor overnight. He started off as a regular soldier. Yet he was so devoted in his desire to see his country become something different, something better than it had been, that his commitment catapulted him into becoming one of the greatest emperor in history.
When Napoleon says, “Take Vienna,” he means that when you set out to do something, do it all the way. Be dedicated to whatever you are doing. Napoleon was dedicated to taking Vienna, and when he set his mind to it, he and his followers took Vienna.
This is a principle that we all need to learn. We need to be faithful and dedicated to the small tasks, large tasks, follower positions, and leadership positions that are entrusted to you. You should see a task to completion no matter how hard, frustrating, or boring it is. Paul even reminded Timothy of how important it is to persist and finish the task. In 2 Timothy 4:2 he says, “Proclaim the message; persist in it whenever convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.”
As you dive into your lives of school, job, volunteer position at church or any leadership position you hold, be dedicated. There will be distractions and other opportunities that pop up, but complete the tasks you have been entrusted with and responsibilities that you have chosen. When you commit to do something, “Take Vienna.”
One warning I should give you though is not to get into the trap of pride and think you can do it all, as Napoleon did. His persistence became skewed with excessive pride and a failure to delegate, causing him to lose everything in the end. So when you set out to take Vienna, unlike Napoleon, ask for help if you need it. And never invade Russia in the winter.