Julius Caesar Leadership Traits - A Revolution
These days we know exactly what we want in a leader. They have to share our ideas, be persistent, and have people like us in mind no matter what they do. If they do not possess these qualities, we do not elect them. This was not the case thousands of years ago. You had a leader and you did what they said. In many cases they didn’t care about the people. They didn’t care about you. Then came a man called Julius Caesar. He was noticeably different and he didn’t just have himself in mind. Julius Caesar revolutionized leadership to the point that he is a hero because he gained his nation power and authority, he made laws and policies fair, and he brought his people happiness and prosperity. His policies and actions were unprecedented in his time. This made him stand out as a true leader, and the best one the world had ever known.
Power and Respect
When it comes to nations, power is everything. If nobody respects your nation you are practically not a nation at all. Now every leader knows this, but it is hard to achieve respect and authority. As Caesar rose in the ranks of the Roman government he knew that to prove himself he had to prove his nation. With his army, he conquered Gaulic tribes one after another. James Barker said, “Gual was Caesar’s proving ground as an extremely talented general, far superior to either Pompey or Crassus.” During these battles with one of Rome’s enemies he often fought on foot with his soldiers, earning their respect. Throughout his life he captured more land and expanded Rome’s empire. He then gave the land to his veterans to farm, providing food for Rome. He constantly outmaneuvered and defeated his enemies, earning his reputation as a powerful general. But even the best fighters must know when to hold back. Caesar made Egypt his ally by solving some of their “internal” problems, causing more power for Rome. Julius Caesar's leadership led to many doors being opened for Rome.
Before Caesar, the poor were poor and the rich were rich. If you were poor you did what the rich said and paid what the rich charged for services and goods. Nobody dared to change the system until Julius came along. He imposed more taxes on the rich than the poor, something that had never happened before. He also made some huge land holders give up small amounts to veterans and citizens that needed it. These new policies made the nation fairer and surprisingly earned the respect from some of the wealthy. Caesar imposed rent controls on the huge tenant houses that the rich owned, making rents that the poor could afford. Although these actions seemed fair, some of the extremely rich were furious because of their greed. They wanted to charge huge amounts for the goods they sold and wished that everyone would have the same tax, no matter how poor you were. Some historians say that this is why they ended up killing him, because he was fair. Graham Morris summarizes Caesars leadership through reforms by saying “ As a man he could be all things to men, and during those times of Roman expansion one has to admit that if anyone was going to take-up the reins of power it was better to have a man of Caesars ambitions, tempered with a farseeing need for reforms, and who’s tolerance and statesmanship was better than most of his compromise.”
Advertising Himself as a Good Guy
Throughout his rule over Rome Caesar wished to reach out to everyone he could. During his rise to power he offered free money and grain to all that needed it, making him very popular. Julius Caesar's leadership caused him to know how important it was to keep his citizens happy. Even if he was the best ruler the world had seen, it wouldn’t have made a difference if all citizens didn’t like him. So, he paid huge sums of money to promote gladiatorial games to advertise himself as a politician. These games provided entertainment for all Romans, not just the wealthy. Also Caesar felt like if someone risked their life for his country, they should be rewarded. Veterans that fought by his side were rewarded with land and sometimes money. The land was then farmed and Rome got new food supplies. This sent the message that if you were courageous you would receive gifts. These gifts made soldiers fight even harder, resulting in easy and quick wins. Also the men learned to respect Julius Caesar's leadership.
He Was Just Plain Different
Many people just assume that Julius Caesar was just like all the other rulers of his time. They think that he was a ruthless leader that only cared about power and his own welfare. I am here to prove to you that it was not like that at all. In fact, Julius Caesar was the exact opposite of that description. How many leaders do you know that fight with their soldiers without a horse, only a sword in hand? If risking your own life for some dirty soldiers is not enough proof to show that he cared for others I don’t know what is. Every other Roman general slaughtered his captured enemies but Caesar offered forgiveness in return for recruitment. Never had soldier’s life’s been spared like that. People respected that he didn’t despise who he fought against, but rather just wanted his nation and citizens to be safe and prosperous. You would think that after being declared dictator for life that you would stop trying so hard, but Julius worked even harder. He started reforms with energy and creativity that all Romans benefited from. Caesar was obsessed with making the nation achieve his full potential, and by the time he died Rome was better than it ever had been. Frankly I think that he cared about his nation far more than he valued his own life. That says a ton about Julius Caesar's Leadership.
Scullard, H. described Caesar as “Urbane, cultured and courteous, he possessed a will of steel and an intensity of intellect”. Before Julius Caesar leaders were just meant to be followed with no questions asked. Caesar changed the way leaders act and revolutionized what being a leader truly is. Even after his death his policies were passed on through the generations and improved Rome to the very end. He is the reason why today leaders show the interest of the people and not only themselves. His heroism affects us as a nation everyday, whether we know it or not. Even modern leaders could learn a thing or two from Julius Caesar today. After all, in a world where the people choose their leaders, you got to be able to lead. It’s as simple as that.