Project Management

Sacre Bleu! Napoleon, Project Manager?

Karen Klein

Author Jerry Manas doesn't regard project managers as "enlightened despots" as some have called the infamous French Emperor. But in his forthcoming book he suggests that his fellow project managers could learn a lot from six principles that the little dictator lived by.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) has been called a grand tactician, a brilliant administrator and masterful soldier. He is also often regarded as a ruthless dictator with delusions of infallibility. So why does Jerry Manas hold up the French Emperor as a model for today's project managers? Manas, project manager and author of "Napoleon on Project Management" (Nelson Business; April 11, 2006), spoke recently to ProjectsAtWork about why he feels Bonaparte and project managers have a lot in common. Manas, co-founder of PMThink! Project Management Thought Leadership, also shared six principles from Napoleon's life that project managers can apply to running successful projects.

You're a project manager and trainer. Why write a book about Napoleon?
Ironically, history was my worst subject in school; I found it dull, as it was mostly focused on rote memorization and dates. But I read a lot about leadership and marketing, and I kept seeing intriguing quotes from Napoleon. I researched further and discovered his incredible accomplishments and well-documented principles and techniques. The more I read, the more I realized …

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