Last Summer my wife Kay and I went on a Sliver Seas Mediterranean Cruise for our 50th Anniversary.
Almost 250 years to the date of the birth of Napoleon born August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio, Corsica we visited the house he was born in.
The house is considered the birthplace of one of the most famous characters in world history.
He was a leaders’ leader and one of the take away brochures says “this is where everything begins”
In this space it is impossible to chronicle the history of this charismatic leader but a leader he was.
We purchased a book in the gift shop “Aphorisms and Thoughts” by Napoleon Bonaparte with over 500 quotes. I highlighted some.
“Man only succeeds in life by governing his character or by forging one.”
“You can only lead the people by showing them a future: a leader trades in hope”
“Success is the world’s greatest orator”
“Courage cannot be counterfeited: it is a virtue which escapes hypocrisy.”
“Nothing increases a battalion like success”
“Infantry is the soul of the army”
“The greatest danger occurs in the moment of victory”
“No man can tell what he will do in his final moments”
“You can rise above those who insult you by forgiving them.”
“You can stop while ascending never while descending.”
These thoughts of Napoleon still influence how leaders think. Thus, I share with you the main lesson I got from the triumphant speech of Edmund Hillary, many years ago. Hillary was one of the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. He said you don’t have to conquer the mountain, what you need to conquer is yourself.