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World Affairs: Napoleon Bonaparte, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 571

Essay

Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest European leaders of all time. He dominated the European theatre during 1796 to 1815.  He was considered to be a military genius and great strategist in addition to being an accomplished leader of men and handling the deployment of large armies. His charismatic personality and high intellect held him in esteem by his contemporise and it was this that accelerated him to the position of a general at the age of 27. Bonaparte had great powers of concentration and was able to deal with and analyse a tremendous amount of detail.  He was essentially a workaholic and would often work long periods without sleep whilst formulating strategic plan for military campaigns. One of Napoleons greatest leadership abilities was that of being able to inspire and motivate others. Bonaparte remained faithful to his soldiers and ensured that they were well rewarded for their services, this in turn provided him with soldiers that were extremely loyal and obeyed him without question.

If you was an advisor to Bonaparte you would need to be highly competent and proficient and accurate in the detailed information that you provided him. Although Bonaparte was good to his men he equally did not tolerate fools gladly. Being of a high intellect and high moral conviction, he expected no less from his Generals and Officers.  Being of a transactional leadership style  Bonaparte would be a clear delegator and expect excellence in the performance of his officers in carrying out their duties. This would need to be reflected in any advisory relationship with the Emperor. Napoleon was a small man just 5’ 2” and became Emperor of France at 34 years of age. Most of the great leaders were small men.  The soldiers were both loyal and devoted to the Emperor and this meant he commanded the greatest of respect, such loyalty also yields increased contribution in terms of valour, commitment and courage from his men.

Napoleon was a very “hands on leader” he admired those who were creative, innovative but equally prepared to get their hands dirty.  In advising Napoleon you must be prepared to take an active part in any implementation plans recommended. He expected his orders to be carried out without question.

Bonaparte  adopts a Transactional Leadership style.  Such leaders believe that people are motivated by reward and punishment.  They believe in a strict sense of organisation and a clear chain of command, further when people accept a job they pass all authority over to the Manager.  Hence the prime objective of the worker is to do precisely what the Manager tells them.  Bonaparte  believes the subordinate to be at fault when things go wrong . The transactional leader will create clear organization structures and reward will follow for task accomplishment.

Limitations and boundaries are clearly understood and often formal disciplinary procedures are in place.  He  believes in a clear chain of command and rewarding performance. The Transactional leader often uses the style of “Management by Exception” i.e. if an assigned duty is working well, then it does not require attention and may be left alone.  Executive B also rewards employees for their successes. Intervention only where something is going wrong or potentially looks like going wrong.  This style is very contract oriented between the boss and the subordinate.  He  establishes clear goals by clarifying roles and task requirements.

Despite the limitations of this style, it remains very popular and is in wide use today.

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