Hannibal Barca Leadership
Hannibal Barca was a military commander of the Carthage army. He led a famous campaign in the second Punic War against the Roman army, remaining undefeated until the very gates of Rome. His most famous military accomplishment was the battle of Cannae, where he defeated a Roman army size double of his.
A Quick History
Hannibal Barca was born to Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian leader in 247 BC. His father was involved in the first Punic War where Carthage was defeated.
At a very young age, he was sworn at an altar never to be a friend of Rome, and he vowed that he will use fire and steel to destroy the destiny of Rome.
At the age of 25, he began his first and last campaign against the Roman Empire which would take him 15 years away from home. In 218 BC, he began his crossing of the Mediterranean.
He landed in modern day Spain and began his march toward Rome. He left behind many troops who were unwilling to leave their homelands, and by the time he reached Gaul, he had about 40,000 foot soldiers and 12,000 horsemen.
His most daring feat would be the crossing of the Alps with his army, to the shock of the Roman Empire. During this journey, Hannibal lost about a third of his army.
Hannibal was a ingenious and cunning military commander, outsmarting the Romans several times, and he remained undefeated until the very gates of Rome.
His most famous victory was the Battle of Cannae, where his army, although half the size of the Romans, slaughtered over 70,000 elite troops of the Roman Empire and taking prisoner over 10,000 of them. His feat is still being discussed by many military scholars today.
However, his campaign took a turning point when he decided not to attack Rome. Eventually he was called back to Carthage to defend against the invading Romans, and there he experienced a decisive defeat by the Roman commander Scipio.
He would go into exile a few years after a peace treat was signed between Rome and Carthage due to political accusations. At 65 years old, to prevent capture by the Romans, Hannibal would take his own life.
Hannibal Barca Leadership Lessons
Although Hannibal was only at an age of 25 when he led his first and last military campaign, he successfully did so, despite having soldiers up to twice his age. How did he do it? Here are my thoughts:
1. Leadership by Example
Any leader who wishes to gain the respect and trust of his followers has Hannibal to learn from. Whatever task you wish to lead your followers in to do, make sure that you’re not just saying it, but doing it, and doing it better than everyone. That is the essence of leadership by example.
2. Big vision and imagination
As a leader, having the big vision and learning to articulate it is important. People don’t just follow a man, they follow a vision as well. Is your vision for your organization big enough to capture the hearts of men?
3. Wisdom and cunning
As leaders, we must learn to use what we have in our hands to double and triple its productivity. Whether it is people, equipment or any form of resources, you can use it to its best when you employ wisdom and cunning in your decisions, yielding results that are beyond expectation.
I have come not to make war on the Italians, but to aid the Italians against Rome.
Ah there is one thing about them more wonderful than their numbers ... in all that vast number there is not one man called Gisgo.
God has given to man no sharper spur to victory than contempt of death.
I will either find a way, or make one.
I am not carrying on a war of extermination against the Romans. I am contending for honor and empire. My ancestors yielded to Roman valour. I am endeavouring that others, in their turn, will be obliged to yield to my good fortune, and my valour.
Napoleon was one of the greatest conquerors in the history of the modern world. Napoleon’s rise came in a time of chaos, during the French Revolution.
» Genghis Khan
» Winston Churchill
» Dwight D Eisenhower
» Alexander The Great
» George S Patton
» Hannibal Barca
» Sun Tzu
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