Napoleon: Leadership Lessons with Stephanie Jones and Jonathan Gosling

Episode 71,   Dec 05, 2023, 06:00 AM

Napoleon is back in the cinemas, and apparently, there are more movies made about him than any other person, he is third on the list of most books written about a person (behind Jesus and Hitler).

So what is the allure and what can we learn from this Mesianic leadership figure?   

To dig deep into these questions Jonathan Gosling and Stephanie Jones join me as guests, bringing their insights from their book on Napoleonic Leadership, a study of power which you can download from here

This is a rich conversation, exploring ideas of charisma, power, and patronage, and asking questions about how certain contexts create the conditions for different leadership approaches.  We explore the object of desire and how charisma is not just about having an extrovert personality, but how a leader harnesses the desires of a nation to their own desires, and most importantly takes action. 

Jonathan reflects on this active element of leadership and how tactics and power, mixed with the drive to act were a big part of Napoleon's leadership approach.  If you've watched the movie, listen to the analysis and review if you are interested in leadership, this is a must-listen anyway.


Prof Jonathan Gosling

Jonathan acts in an advisory capacity for leadership-related projects in commercial, governmental and activist organisations. He has been Professor of Leadership at renowned universities around the world; is a key-note speaker on leadership, power and change; is principal investigator for complex research projects; and coordinates Pelumbra’s growing portfolio of programs. His writing covers a spectrum from scholarly philosophical articles on ethics and wisdom, to applicable lessons drawn from historical leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Horatio Nelson.

Jonathan was recently appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre (BLCC) at the University of the West of England and runs his own consulting company, Pelumbra Ltd.

You can find out more about Jonathan at:

Dr Stephanie Jones

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Maastricht School of Management, having graduated with a PhD from University College London, and a Bachelor’s degree (in History) from the London School of Economics. Dr Jones has authored over 25 full-length internationally-published books on business and management – three of them with Professor Jonathan Gosling. She teaches MBA students across the world, especially courses on leadership, culture and change. Her teaching locations include Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, China, Vietnam, Peru, Surinam, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and several African countries. With a background managing businesses in recruitment, consulting, and training operations in China, India, the Middle East and Australia, Dr Jones gained extensive experience in the corporate sector before returning to academe a decade ago. She is still active in consulting and training. Dr Jones also supervises student theses, at Doctoral, Masters and Diploma levels, assessing and evaluating theses around the world. Napoleonic Leadership: A Study in Power is her third book with Professor Gosling, the others being Nelson’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Commander (2005, published by Nicholas Brealey) and Key Concepts in Leadership (2012).