Published here August, 2007.  

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary | Postscript


Notwithstanding the project management lessons to be learned from Napoleon's history, it is important to understand that he was, after all, a very unique individual that emerged at a unique time in France's history. Of all the population born through out history, the number of such opportunistic people can be counted on a few fingers. Few people in project management can claim to be comfortable in the whole range of roles from visionary leader to detail administrator. Yet Napoleon appeared to excel throughout that range.

Napoleon also appeared to have some exceptional and useful talents. By his own admission, according to his memoirs:

"A singular thing about me is my memory. As a boy, I know the logarithms of thirty or forty numbers, I not only knew the names of the officers of all the regiments, but also where the corps had been recruited, had distinguished themselves; I even knew their spirit."[9]

From this we may deduce that Napoleon was also very egotistic. In his memoirs, he claimed other abilities and values that he felt made him successful, like:

"Developing solid skills, such as a good memory and knowledge of mathematics; upholding key values, such as calmness and predictability; being visible to those you lead; and understanding the nature of politics."[10]

Certainly, these are valuable attributes for the project manager to remember. But for those of us not born with the necessary or sufficient brain storage capacity, Jerry suggests:

"Since many of us are not armchair mathematics - it's useful to keep a list of handy calculations and algorithms, most of which are included in any Project Management Professional (PMP) exam study guide. Type the most useful calculations into your PDA or notebook, and you will be well equipped for success."[11]

And, of course, if after passing the PMP certification exam you actually get to use those formulae on a project, that would be an added benefit!

What We Liked  What We Liked

9. Ibid, p4-5
10. Ibid, p4
11. Ibid, p8
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