Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or better known as Augustus, is one of the most significant leaders in Roman history. He was able to capture power in a period of turmoil following the death of Julius Caesar and successfully revive the political system and eventually led Romans into a new prosperous age (Forbes and Prevas 2009).
He was able to continue his reign of power for decades because his management of Rome was built on a secure foundation and his vision was clear to the citizens.
Augustus was not an intimidating leader but rather one that listened to his people and can carried conversations with individuals from many classes. He was not considered a leader that portrayed the ability of deep philosophical insight; however, he received praise for his pragmatic and effective responses to problems throughout his vast empire (Forbes and Prevas 2009). Augustus was able to maintain stability in Rome by attaining law and order in the empire, even after the difficult time of the civil war.
He accomplished this feat by delegating his power and authority, all while keeping a close working relationship with the senate and other parts of the Roman government (Forbes and Prevas 2009).Another integral part of Augustus leadership strategy involved religion and superstition of the Roman people. The Roman religion had many gods and spirits, and Augustus strived to join as a god himself. Once time, early in his reign, Halley’s Comet passed over Rome and Augustus claimed it was the spirit of Julius Caesar entering heaven (PBS 2013).
If Caesar was a god then, Augustus was the son of a god and he made sure the citizens of Rome knew it. He continued to give the persona of god-like decedent, and he let people know that he lived in a modest house, slept on a low bed and ate only very plain food like coarse bread and cheese (PBS 2013). This gave the people a Rome the sense that their leader may be a son of a god that lived in the same style and fashion as they did.An example of a successful modern leader in the business world that embodied Augustus’ style was the CEO of General Motors, Alfred Sloan.
Sloan took over the role of CEO of a company that was falling behind drastically to Ford Motor Company at the time. He developed new ideas such as: making loan payments, changing color options and introducing new models each year; allwhile building a corporate structure that brought scientific precision to management and procurement (Forbes and Prevas 2009). Sloan was able to innovate and overtake his competitors rather than solely focusing on prices and costs of the business. After Sloan’s death in 1986, his competitor Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company stated “”under his Sloan’s leadership, General Motors developed from a loosely organized group of companies into the present highly efficient giant corporation” (New York Times 1986).
When Sloan became vice president of operations in 1920, GM accounted for less than 12% of motor vehicle sales in the nation and when he stepped down 1956, GM increased sales to 52%. He did this by mimicking Augustus leadership style of having a strong foundation and belief in the company.One modern day leader that failed to learn from Augustus is Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft. Ballmer failed to take care of the needs of his people by navigating Microsoft out of the fast growing and lucrative tech markets, such as: mobile music, handsets and tablets (Hartung 2012).
The backlash of his actions not only impacted Microsoft but other associated companies such as Dell, Hewlett Packard and Nokia. This has led to Microsoft stock plummeting from $60 a share in 2000 when Ballmer first took over, to only $20 a share in 2002 (Hartung 2012). Ballmer did not set a strong foundation for Microsoft and the vision of the company was not portrayed to the employees or its investors. ReferencesCaesar Augustus.
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pbs.org/ empires/romans/empire/augustus_religion.htmlHartung, Adam (2012). Five CEO Who Should Have Already Been Fired.
Forbes. Retrieved From: http://www.forbes.com/sites /adamhartung/2012/05/12/oops-5-ceos-that-should-have-already-been-fired-cisco-ge-walmart-sears-microsoft/3/New York Times (1986).
Alfred P. Sloan: Leader and Philanthropist. New York Times. Retrieved From:http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0523.html
Cite this Roman Empire and Augustus
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