In the history of mankind, many leaders can be said to have influenced and changed the course of history. The name Alexander the Great remains a household name to this date and is without a doubt the greatest leader that ever lived. He conquered all the greatest civilizations of his time and the world to that effect through his ingenious strategies and godly attributes that were unheard of in the history of man. Alexander’s legacy is incomparable to none even the great men in history do not come close to half his accomplishments and exploits. Alexander’s legacy can be surmised as being the most decorated and accomplished conqueror of an ancient civilization. Alexander’s reign as the conqueror of the world occurred between 336-323 BC, a thirteen-year that is christened as the ‘Age of Alexander.’ In only thirteen years, Alexander achieved more than the greatest Kings could dream of. Alexander’s accomplishments and attributes are truly a reflection of the greatest leader to have ever lived in human history.
Alexander the Great, the Greatest Leader in the History of Mankind
Alexanders’ journey to leadership and attaining the highest level of accomplishments as a leader is partly attributed to his background and partly to inborn abilities that made him exceptional. Alexander was born in 356 B.C. He was the son of King Philip the Second of Macedonia and Queen Olympia. He was groomed for leadership early on and was destined to be a great leader. By the age of 13, young Alexander was a student of one of Greece’s renowned philosophers, Aristotle. He learned a lot about the culture of Greece, philosophy and a great deal of science. At the age of 16, king Philip exposed Alexander to the art of war by taking him to the battlefields. It is through this exposure that Alexander’s leadership became more pronounced. He was promoted to commander and ascended on the throne in 335 BC upon his father’s death.
The title ‘Alexander the Great’ speaks volumes of who Alexander was as an individual and as a leader. Great leaders display a mix of charisma, clear ambition, and objectives that are easily understood by the followers, respected, and effective use of power. Apart from that, good leadership is characterized by the existence of an equally good and stable relationship between the leader and their followers. Alexander ensured that he had the backing of all the Greek nations under the Corinthian umbrella. Alexander’s name and exploits proceeded him and the tales around his legacy were just enough to conquer lands and gain followers. For instance, Alexanders’ plans to conquer Egypt through warfare were met with an unexpected twist of events. The Egyptians were ready and willing to follow Alexander as Pharaoh. The same happened in Babylon, where upon his arrival, the city and its inhabitants surrendered and instead welcomed Alexander with a great ceremony. Egypt and Babylon give the impression of how powerful Alexander had become that he respected and followed without the use of force but only his reputation and relationships created with the conquered territories.
Alexander’s greatness and exceptional leadership are reflected through his leading by example. Despite being the king, he always led his army from the front facing the enemy without fear of death or any opponent against him. In normal circumstances, a king was always guarded against the enemy by his best fighters. But Alexanders exhibited extraordinary attributes that motivated and compelled his army to fight with courage and the same passion as their king. In other words, Alexander led by example and not just by command. He put his life on the line for his army, which in turn got inspired to fight and give their lives on the battlefield. Like his father, Philip, the young Alexander wanted to colonize the Persian Empire. He however understood that to do this, he needed the backing of all the Greeks. He thereafter rallied the Greek army to conquer Persia. The first battle against the Persians came in 334 BC where he met great resistance from a general-led army. Although Alexander escaped death narrowly in the battle, the Greeks emerged victors.
The absence of the Persian king Darius at the first battle was due to his underestimation of Alexander. In his defense, king Darrius claimed that their defeat was due to his absence and blamed it on the incapacity of his army commander. This meant that only the battle had been won but not the war. The second show of might between the two sides happened in 333 BC at Issus, and this time the Persian army was under the leadership of the Great King of the Persian empire, Darius. This is the battle that defined just who Alexander was in terms of leadership and as a worrier of the Greek nation. While King Darius was shielded by his men, leading and commanding his army from the rare end, Alexander did the opposite. He faced the enemy directly, leading the attack and he was the first one to engage the enemy front lines.
Although Darius being on the battlefield instilled courage in the Persian army, it was not enough to inspire the army to victory. Alexander’s act inspired and gave his army the courage to fight the enemy viciously without any intimidation despite the odds against them. The Greek army was small in comparison with the Persian Army, but being the war tactician and great commander he was, he took advantage of the location battlefield, which was in between the massif and the sea. Being an intelligent war commander, Alexander moved around the Persian army and together with his Companion Cavalry, charged straight at Darius. Fearful of Alexander, Darius fled the battlefield leaving his family at the mercy of the Greeks. This granted Alexander victory over the Persians and conquest of the Persian empire. From this one can deduce that Alexander’s heroics were not just by accident but through the character of the greatest leader who led his army not just through command but by example.
Another attribute that makes Alexander the greatest leader in human history was his vision of unifying mankind. From this vision, Alexander exhibited one of the greatest leadership qualities of using power constructively. As a leader who wanted to conquer the world, Alexander knew perfectly that there was a need to have something to unify the world and its diversity. Culture was the glue that would keep the otherwise widespread and massive world empire under one leader in the name of Alexander. One thing that could unify the diversified nations was culture. Alexander was responsible for blending the Hellenic, culture with various cultures from great Asia and Africa. The perfect example is when he conquered Egypt in 332 BC and built the city of Alexandria. He made the city the center of Greek culture where Egyptians were required to study and absorb the imposed culture. Another act that can be interpreted as trying to blend the Greek culture with foreign cultures was when Alexander commissioned a mass wedding of his infantry to the women of Persia. Up to this point, no leader has ever attempted to unify the world but use power to their benefit and not for the benefit of humanity. This shows just how powerful and great Alexander was but they chose to use this power wisely. He wanted to change the world and had a clear vision of unification that was becoming a reality were it not for his untimely demise.
The ability to develop strategy both in battles and ordinary situations made Alexander invisible. Alexander won all the battles he engaged in thanks to his war strategies and instincts which were at times too good to be true. He won the battle that ordinary kings wouldn’t dare to partake but with his military intelligence backed up with personal attributes, including courage, swiftness, and intriguing fighting techniques he won them all. The War against the Persians, dented as the “Battle of Guatemala” was a great display of great military strategy and intelligence. Fighting against an enemy that outnumbered them and emerging victors was not a small feat in ancient times. Alexander won the battle by setting up his army before the battle in three sequences in respect of the type of weaponry, agility, and ensuring that they attacked first. This is another demonstration of how a war intellect and great leader Alexander happened to be. Besides strategy, Alexander never backed down from a challenge, he was never ruled by fear or myths but just logic and strategy. Such are the attributes that only a great leader could possess.
In conclusion, Alexander the Great, as the dictates were the greatest leader to have ever existed in the history of mankind. Alexander’s legacy and accomplishments could not have materialized if he was not an extraordinary leader during his time. By the age of thirty-three, Alexander had conquered the world, a feat that o one after him or before he moved close to achieving. Throughout his reign, he displayed qualities and a remarkable character with a mix of charisma, clear ambition, and objectives that are easily understood by the followers, respect, and effective use of power. Apart from that, good leadership is characterized by the existence of an equally good and stable relationship between the leader and their followers. What he dreamed of, he achieved; any land he wanted to conquer, he conquered. All this was attained through his extraordinary leadership style and use of power constructively and with a vision of unifying the world. Without a doubt, Alexander the Great was the greatest leader to have ever lived in human history.
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