History is littered with examples of tyrants, hopelessly out of touch with the plight of the commoners, ruthlessly pursuing their own ambitions or hedonistic whims. But Caesar was a different kind of leader. Despite some bad press, in fact he never saw himself as above the average Roman citizen. Although he certainly knew he was an extraordinary human being, he also regarded himself as fundamentally one of the people, and acted like it. In his life and in his career, he created a new paradigm of leadership, and along the way, created the path to success for any leader in a complex organization.
In a book that Doris Kearns Goodwin has called "brilliantly crafted to draw leadership lessons from history", Philip Barlag uses dramatic and colorful incidents from Caesar's career to illustrate what modern leaders can learn from him. Central to Barlag's argument is the distinction between power and force. When leading his own organization, Caesar never used brute force to motivate his followers. Time and again he exercised a power rooted in his demonstrated personal integrity and his essentially egalitarian relationship with the Romans. People followed him because they wanted to, not because they were compelled to. Over 2,000 years after Caesar's death, this is still the kind of loyalty every leader wants to inspire. Barlag shows how anyone can lead like Caesar.
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pragmatic & insightful read of a timeless leader!
Barlag's ability to connect the dots and interpret historical events makes you feel like you have unprecedented access into Julius Caesar's thought process as he makes monumental decisions. At every turn in Caesar's meteoric rise to power, we see his unconventional actions, wisdom and patience to inspire others, garner influence and affect significant change -- all applicable to today's aspiring business leaders.
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A tremendous book and very quick read which you can personally put into action to be a better leader in any organization today.
- Michael Stango