Alexander the Great was the ruler who covered more territory and conquered more lands and people than any other ruler in history. He led his army halfway across the known world of his time to the Indus River before turning back 6 years later. So how did Alexander the Great manage to attain such great achievement? The key to his success was his bravery and achieving unity and loyalty.
From a very young age, Alexander was always a courageous man. Before the age of 19, he fought bravely at his father’s side during the battle of Chaeronea and earned the respect of the army. This trait gave him an upper hand by the time Alexander’s army had thrust deep into the heart of the Persian Empire. His army had suffered the summer heat in the Babylonian Desert and the cold and snow of the Iranian plateau, yet Alexander led in the face of so many obstacles. This caused his army to receive material support from home, and received tens of thousands of men in reinforcements (who definitely contributed to Alexander winning the final battle against Darius). This shows that because Alexander had courage, his homelands believed in him and put their faith in his abilities, thus sending him reinforcements in their show of support.
Another important ability Alexander had was the ability to create unity and loyalty to an unprecedented amount of cultures, languages, and religions. Alexander the Great achieved unity through several primary ways. He used strategies appropriate to the regions he conquered (sometimes as a liberator, sometimes as a conqueror who paid recognition to the culture of those people). He ensured promotions were based on merit rather than upon birth. He took the time to learn about the culture/customs of each conquered group and made sure to observe them. He set and enforced his standards to ensure this loyalty and unity. He was also an outstanding communicator who was unafraid to argue toe-toe in arguing his point. As a result of his commitment to this unity and loyalty, several things happened in Alexander’s favor. His treatment of the conquered caused cities to begin surrendering to him. His merciful treatment of Darius’s family helped his image tremendously as he began conquering the Phoenician area. Finally, during his final battle with Darius, Persian soldiers and satraps began offering their services to Alexander. All of these examples show the significance of him achieving loyalty and unity.
I learned many leadership lessons from this article. I understand unity is so important that even Jesus promoted it. He claimed, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word; that they all may be one.” (John 17:20-21). Not only did I learn the importance of unity and teamwork, but I also learned what happens when there is a lack of unity. I understand that the reason why the Secret Service lost several officers is because there are 2 major organizations within the Secret Service that work side by side but are highly segregated in terms of pay and perks (lack of unity). To lead well, I have to follow well and become a part of the team. To apply this concept to my life, I will learn how to be a good follower. So to prepare myself for the adult world, I can teach myself how to be a good teammate whether in cross country, basketball, band, or even in a small group working on a project in English class.
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