History Lessons

Think Big - Alexander the Great. Master strategist, military hero and indomitable leader

Master strategist, military hero and indomitable leader, Alexander the Great had an insatiable appetite for glory and a lust for power that brooked no obstacle. By the time of his death at just 32, he commanded an empire that stretched from Gibraltar to the Punjab. The secret of his success?Where others saw insurmountable problems, Alexander saw challenges that needed a touch of lateral thinking. Take his campaign to win the Phoenician island of Tyre, in 333BC. The Tyrrhenians were fearsome sailors, unlike Alexander's forces, so he eschewed a sea attack for assault by land. How?

He had his troops build a causeway 2,000 feet long and 200 feet wide from the mainland to the island. It took seven months under constant enemy fire to construct the land bridge before conquering the astonished islanders.

His big thinking paid off. The lesson for business? Don't let the impossible put you off; play to your strengths and use a little ingenious thinking.

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