Partha Bose’s book, Alexander The Great’s Art of Strategy, he described the seven different leadership styles Alexander used to conquer and rule the world before his death at the tender age of 32. Bose cataloged Seven Distinct Leadership Styles, Alexander developed and used to motivate his warriors.
Trusting, Inspirational, Connective, Aggressive, Humanistic, Commanding, and Marauding.
Perhaps his best was his Connective Style. Before going into battle, Alexander would ride up and down in front of his troop frmation and call out to familiar faces and extol them on their bravery in previous campaigns. Calling these people by name. Knowing how they performed on the battlefield and extolling their tenacious in battle is how he got them to do the impossible.
He recognized their accomplishments and rewarded them accordingly. He provided inspiration and confidence because he knew they where trained well he trained with them as a young man and he fought side by side with many of them. Alexander fully understood what his men could and couldn’t do and it was a short list of what his army couldn’t do.
Many a modern-day leader could learn something from this. By connecting with their employees, acknowledging their accomplishments can go a long way toward getting them to put in that extra effort when needed. For those who would argue that the company size or the fact their company is global and it’s impossible to know the names or accomplishments of everyone are missing the point. Alexander called out those he recognized. The troops standing around them became inspired by the fact their commander thought enough of their brother-in-arms to call him out they felt as if Alexander was talking directly to them as well.
Alexander was an extraordinary person. A brilliant tactician, strategist, and leader. He benefited from having the best of teachers and had a keen intellect. He was able to connect with his troops and get them to perform amazing feats on the battlefield.
We can all learn from his connective style of leadership, the question is do we want to.
© Timothy A. Wilson 2018