Julius Caesar assumed a dictatorial position after the elimination of his rivals during a civil war in 49 BCE Rome.
He ruled Rome until he was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BCE.
He has always been considered by countless historians as a political and military general of great calibre.
Business Insider has gathered some of his valuable leadership traits from his works and the works of his contemporaries to understand the greatness that was Caesar.
Here are 7 leadership qualities that might help us become better leaders today.
The Importance of Presentation
Caesar’s own description of his war with Pharnacles the Second, leader of Pontus, shows us the importance of presentation. Instead of getting into a lengthy detail of his military exploits in the war, he summed it up in an expression that remains famous even today:
I came, I saw, I conquered.
As a leader, Caesar had one of the most important qualities, the ability to take risks. It was evident in his move to cross the Rubicon River with his army, which at that time was punishable by death in Rome.
This goes to prove that taking risks isn’t necessarily bad, if they are well calculated.
It isn’t a bad thing to start small
In an incident chronicled by Plutarch in ‘Parallel Lives’, Caesar while passing by a small village made a curious but big remark, “I assure you I had rather be the first man here than the second man in Rome.”
This goes to show that it is okay to start small but important to be considered big, even if in a small place.
Nothing is Permanent
Caesar knew that in war, nothing is set in stone. Things can change on a moment’s notice. In ‘Julius Caesar: Lessons in Leadership from the Great Conqueror’ by Bill Yonne, Caesar is once said to have remarked, “In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes.”
Do not be over confident
When Caesar chronicled Gallic Wars, he wrote, “In most cases men willingly believe what they wish”.
Caesar understood how important it is for a leader to be rational and realistic instead of being over confident and impulsive.
Do not be too comfortable
Great leaders don’t get too comfortable. They are always ready and can anticipate the worst results.
Caesar wrote in his ‘Commentary on Gallic Wars’ that you should watch out whenever you are on a winning roll. You never know when things start going downhill, so do not get complacent.
In Plutarch’s accounts it is said that once young Caesar was kidnapped by pirates where he ransomed himself to freedom. Later he built a fleet, tracked the abductors and killed them, just like he had promised while ransoming himself.
This shows the confidence he had in himself and his abilities.