Brainfood: History lessons


Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


What might today's manager learn from the blade-wielding, ballbreaking ancient British queen (aka Boadicea)? Well, when it comes to aggressive takeovers, the modern-day executive can take some tips from the fate of the woman who, in AD61, took on the Roman Empire. Her passion to halt the occupation of her home ground inspired a huge number of ordinary people to fight to the death. All good and noble, but she still lost. And therein lies the business lesson. Although her motley crew outnumbered the Romans, the invader's superior tactics ultimately won the day. The moral? It's difficult to halt an aggressive takeover without a masterplan. Determination helps, but the big boys will always beat you if you lack an unbeatable strategy. The recent takeover of Manchester United by US business tycoon Malcolm Glazer springs to mind. While some of the football club's fans displayed Boudiccan determination, they had no real answer to Glazer's campaign. Veni, vidi, vici ...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...

Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

What I learned leading a Syrian bank through a civil war

Louai Al Roumani was CFO of Syria's largest private retail bank when the conflict broke...