In my opinion, Alexander The Great was the greatest military leader of all time.
When we review military leaders, there are many who may grace the top list.
- Sun Tzu
- and Patton
But when I look at every detail, I still have to put Alexander The Great in the top slot.
I have decided to provide you with 17 reasons I believe Alexander The Great was the greatest military leader in history.
1: He had a vision
It is my opinion that no leader can find success unless they have a vision.
Alexander The Great had a grand vision and he was able to “paint a picture” of that vision to his followers.
By having a vision, Alexander was able to set goals and objectives to meet those goals.
He then went forth and completed all of his vision.
Do you have a vision?
2: He was ruthless
For ancient military leaders, being ruthless was an important attribute.
I don’t know if that would be a great attribute in today’s military (it could lead to a war crimes judgment).
By showing ruthlessness the moment his Father, King Phillip II of Macedon was assassinated, Alexander showed his ruthlessness by having all rivals murdered.
He also showed ruthlessness when he would give kingdoms a chance to surrender and if they hesitated, he would destroy everything.
By being this way, Alexander The Great created a fear of his power and abilities.
Many enemies just gave up immediately knowing how ruthless he was.
3: He was lucky
While Alexander was a great tactician and strategist, we all must also admit that “Lady Luck” was also on his side.
There were several occasions when Alexander’s forces were greatly outnumbered but because of simple luck along with wise movements by Alexander, they gained the victory.
No matter how you look at it, luck had a place in his life.
4: He was arrogant
This is another attribute that aided ancient military leaders, but I really do not recommend it for today’s military leaders for the most part.
How was Alexander The Great arrogant?
All the cities named after him when he defeated them.
Statues of his image were erected in his presence.
I don’t believe that Alexander was a humble man, and it helped him in his exploits, but it may have killed him too.
General Patton studied Alexander greatly, but we never saw a town named Pattonville… Or is there one?
Arrogance does not go with today’s military leadership
5: He adapted
Alexander knew he would have to adapt to various circumstance, and he did so.
If he had to walk instead of ride, he would.
If he had to use a weapon he normally wouldn’t in a situation, he would.
No matter the circumstance, Alexander The Great would adapt to it.
6: He used philosophy
And why wouldn’t he?
Alexander was educated by one of the greatest philosophers that lived on Earth, Aristotle.
We saw many times when Alexander used philosophy to gain the trust and admiration of the people he conquered.
He even dressed like the Persians after defeating them.
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7: He was stubborn
Is this an attribute that made him a great military leader?
I believe it is, because if he would not have been stubborn he would have listened to naysayers and probably would have never conquered as many kingdoms as he did.
If someone said he couldn’t do it, Alexander was stubborn enough to prove that he could do it.
8: Alexander The Great led from the front
One thing was sure, Alexander would not ask his soldiers to do something he wouldn’t do.
When a charge was on, Alexander was there leading the charge, not sitting in a headquarters far in the background.
9: His Father was a great military leader
King Phillip II was also a great military mind.
The son inherited this ability from his father and I am sure Phillip taught him much while he was alive.
Who we learn from can make a huge factor in our success.
10: He inherited a trained and great army
Falling right in with #9, Alexander did not have to build and train an army.
He was given a greatly trained army.
All Alexander had to do was add his touches and gain their trust and respect.
The army listened to and followed Alexander.
11: He was always learning
Alexander discovered at an early age to never stop learning.
Being taught by Aristotle, he understood that he could learn something new at any time and anywhere.
This is one attribute all military leaders need.
We can learn from reading, watching and from other people.
12: He was quick and deliberate
This is one attribute that I am sure General Patton took from Alexander The Great.
I believe this because of General Patton’s quote: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
When Alexander chose a path, he followed it and committed to it.
There was no turning back.
13: He used all available tools and devices
This goes right along with being adaptable.
Alexander would use anything he believed could help his men gain the victory.
Even at one point, the enemy wagons rolling down the hills had Alexander have his men lay on the ground with their shields up, and the wagons rolled over the top of them.
14: Scouts before troops
Alexander The Great always wanted to know what they were going into.
He was wise enough to always send scouts so he could develop a plan of action before he would take his troops.
Scouts would go out and document the land, the enemy and any other information they could find.
They would return with the information and Alexander would develop a plan of action.
15: Alexander inspired his followers
Just his demeanor would inspire, but when he spoke, his followers listened.
Alexander The Great was a master at building morale.
After all, how else could he get his soldiers to battle armies 3, 4 or even 5 times their size?
I believe one of his greatest means of inspiring was the fact that he would do what he asked.
If only all military leaders were that way.
16: He understood and adapted cultures he conquered
When Alexander conquered a kingdom, he would get right in with the peasants and learn the customs.
While he would allow the people to keep their customs, notice that I said he adapted the cultures.
The biggest way he did this was to make it mandatory that the Greek language was used.
It reminds me of how the English language has become the primary language on Earth.
17: He was charismatic
Just seeing the man made people desire to follow him.
It is said that even his body odor was delightful.
Charisma is not something anyone can learn; I believe it is something people are born and blessed with.
But like luck, I believe charisma played a huge part in making Alexander The Great the greatest military leader ever.
Well now you have my opinion why Alexander The Great was the best military leader of all time.
Do you agree or disagree?
Will there ever be a day when we will see such a great military leader?
I often wonder what Alexander would do if he lived in our era.
It can be fun to consider these type of things.
So give us your thoughts.
You can post your comments, questions and suggestions below.