A Leadership Lesson From Napoleon


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.

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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1 Response to A Leadership Lesson From Napoleon

  1. Steve (Obo) Kirk says:

    I read and study a vast amount of quotes and also trying to identify the context in which they were made. I used to be surprised how many can be traced back to the Bible. Now, at 74 years of age I continue to be somewhat surprised just not so much.

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