Summary of The Wisdom of Alexander the Great

Enduring Leadership Lessons from the Man Who Created an Empire

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The Wisdom of Alexander the Great book summary
Alexander the Great may have seen himself as a conqueror, not an executive, but business strategists should take note.


6 Overall

5 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


This short summary extracts some of the most interesting incidents from the life of Alexander the Great and makes them accessible. It offers some great anecdotes - though the narratives about captives being raped or killed, and archers shooting out the eyes of elephants may put off some readers. Author Lance B. Kurke does a great service to anyone who likes a good yarn, but who doesn’t like wading through dense books. By casting the career of the mighty Macedonian as a compendium of management lessons, Kurke even makes it possible for people to justify reading sagas about a classical hero at the office. At times, the author must reach in order to draw an appropriate management lesson out of Alexander crossing a river or killing his best friend. In fact, a few of the management lessons are rather obvious, while others seem shallow or downright puzzling. But that is a minor protest. On the whole, the author succeeds in his purpose. While this book won’t displace Peter Drucker on the manager’s bookshelf, recommends it for reading on the treadmill or exercise bike, or as a pleasant diversion during a short plane ride or a solitary lunch.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Alexander the Great achieved his remarkable conquests; and
  • How to apply lessons from his life to contemporary management.


The Framework of Leadership
Leaders change the world through action. They do not just recognize or respond to reality - they reshape reality by using four fundamental approaches. They reframe problems - Alexander the Great was a master at reframing problems, shifting...
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About the Author

Lance B. Kurke, Ph.D., is president of Kurke and Associates, Inc. He is an associate professor of management at Duquesne University’s John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business, where he chairs the Leadership and Change Management division. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the J. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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