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What did Caesar have that you don’t?

by on
in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

The ancient Romans built a magnificent city over a swamp because they envisioned a powerful, stable society and had the craftsmanship and discipline to make it happen. The plan’s sheer scale reveals the Romans’ larger-than-life ambitions.

Use this three-part approach to make sure you’ve got enough “oomph!” behind your mission.
  1. Think big. The Romans aspired on a grand scale. Their ability to think big guaranteed that they’d set aside enough public and private space to accommodate a growing republic, then an empire. Example: The Coliseum covers nearly three football fields at its major axis. It towers about 15 stories and can hold up to 70,000 spectators.

    Lesson:
    Ask yourself if you’re thinking big enough … if you’ve got enough room to grow.

  2. Think long-term. The Romans designed and built their public places to last. Many of these engineering wonders are still standing.

    Lesson: Ask yourself if your solution represents a quick fix or if it lays the groundwork for greater things.

  3. Think “image.” The Romans intended the colossal size and luxurious materials of their edifices to inspire awe and serve as permanent reminders of Rome’s strength and superiority. Crowed Caesar Augustus: “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.”

    Lesson: Consider how well your image works as a source of power, from your physical presence to the symbols of your leadership. Then, consider what kind of legacy you will leave.
— Adapted from Take Charge! How Leaders Profit from Change, Greg Bustin, Tapestry Press.

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