Leonidas - Leadership Skills

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Leonidas was the king of Sparta between 488BC and 480BC. The movie “300” narrates the story of Leonidas leading 300 Spartan “body guards” and fighting to death against the massive Persian army led by “God King” Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Prior to the start of the war, Leonidas knew that his army was hugely outnumbered and knew with certainty that his move against the Persians was a suicide mission. His intention was to delay the fast approaching Persian army from reaching the heart of Sparta by using a narrow mountain pass in Thermopylae to his advantage. The movie concludes with the brutal killing of Leonidas and his men by the massive Persian arrow barrage. Even though the battle was won by the Persians, the sacrifice…show more content…
Leonidas seemingly bowed in submission after removing his protective gear and commanded one of his men to leap over him to kill Xerxes’s army general. In the midst of the confusion, Leonidas hurled his spear at King Xerxes as a last attempt to attain his goal. After being wounded by the spear, Xerxes ordered his army to slaughter the Spartans with the massive barrage of arrows.
The followers of Leonidas were military trained like Leonidas himself and were highly achievement oriented. They were indoctrinated with the Spartan values of respect, honor and freedom. Leonidas effectively motivated his followers to bring the best of their abilities in the battle field during the period of crisis. The Pygmalion effect of higher performance on followers upon leader’s articulation of higher expectations is evident when Leonidas clearly communicated his expectations to his followers. Even though there was no room for softness in Spartan culture, Leonidas saw to it that the followers need, to continue their lineage, was catered when he drafted the 300 soldiers for the suicide mission. Leonidas believed that dying in battlefield for Sparta as the biggest glory of life and was able to intrinsically motivate his followers on the same belief. At the end of every major mission, Leonidas recognized the achievements of his followers. By the different acts of his
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