Today is the Ides of March, the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar. Notwithstanding his unfortunate demise, he stands as one of history's greatest military leaders. Looking at history we can find 8 secrets to his historic success.
Connect with your Soldiers
It has been said that Caesar knew the names of each soldier fighting with him. That personal connection was a chance to
win the confidence of his army. A leader doesn’t need to be “best friends” with every member of his team, but from this
story we can learn that having a personal connection with
coworkers is something positive because it strengthens
Julius Caesar was also a good orator. He used to appear at
the Roman Senate and addressed his soldiers with passionate
speeches. A good leader cares about learning communication
techniques that will help him effectively convey messages and
engage the team.
A great part of the success of the Roman Legions was the
information troops had available on the battlefield. Every
Centurion had as much information about the battle plan as
Julius Caesar did. Nowadays, Centurions represent team or
department managers. As a leader, you must make sure that
these people are well-informed and understand your
perspective so they can communicate to the rest of the team
what needs to be done.
Roman soldiers were trained to use gladius—small pointy
daggers—with which they conquered half the world. Far from
the powerful image of great swords and spears, the legions
were specialized in the use of these small weapons—light, but
effective. Like Caesar, the tools you have available will help you
be successful. Learn to use tools correctly and develop your
skills in order to maximize your own potential and that of the
people around you.
Caesar was always close to his troops. In spite of the danger,
the Roman general wanted to communicate directly with his
army because he knew that meant a boost to his soldiers'
moral. He ate with them, slept with them, bled with them.
Being close to his men also allowed him to identify weaknesses
and make quick decisions to correct mistakes. Like Julius
Caesar, a good leader must be ready for whatever may come,
to give support to his people, and make quick but well thought-out
decisions. Be accessible to your team and guide
Julius Caesar made sure that everyone knew about his
victories. You don’t have to write a book about your victories
like Caesar did, but it is important that you learn to communicate
everything you achieve so that the team will feel part of the
accomplishment. Keep a modest attitude, but don’t forget to
highlight every little success and goal you reach.
Don’t Delegate the Most Unpleasant Tasks
In Roman times, it was common to punish deserters. Caesar
was personally in charge of this task, one of the hardest a
soldier can face. Obviously, this one is a rather extreme
example, but from it we can learn that a good leader mustn’t sit
back and wait for others to do hard tasks for him; instead, he
must do the work himself. In other words, be an example to others
and take on the hardest tasks yourself.
Take a Risk
Julius Caesar took risks, which came with his leadership. If you
set your convictions aside and make decisions based on fear of consequences, you will be building your leadership on a faulty base.
Take risks, learn from mistakes, and you will achieve success.