By Stephanie Jones and Jonathan Gosling
Published by Sage 28th March 2015

He came to France an immigrant and left an exile – but, in a career spanning just 35 years, he became general, consul and emperor. 
How did Napoleon’s name come to be synonymous with brilliance, legend and glory despite displaying opportunistic and manipulative tendencies, and repeatedly deserting those who followed him? Two hundred years after his defeat, what lessons can we learn from his successes and his failures?

As the world marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (on the 18th June 2015), this fascinating study on leadership and power tackles the questions that continue to intrigue and mystify. As now, power was gained and held by political manipulation, patronage, fear, putsch, charisma, popular vote and the new idea of meritocracy. Waterloo 200 years ago...

Through the inclusion of Reflections and Questions, Stephanie Jones and Jonathan Gosling highlight some important lessons for current and future managers and leaders. This book is a must-read for students of leadership, practicing managers and leaders, and anyone with an interest in Napoleon, his rise to power and his ultimate defeat.


Now in available in Chinese

‘Whether you are studying leadership, or doing leadership, this is a rollicking good read, and a fabulously rich book.’ - Ken Parry, Professor of Leadership Studies and co-Director of the Deakin Leadership Centre, Australia

'For better or for worse, power is a central issue in the study and practice of leadership. Jones and Gosling take us on an intellectually stimulating journey through the eyes of a complex leader – Napoleon – who left us a contradictory legacy of glory and misery. Business and political leaders could benefit greatly from the insights found in this book.' Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business, Marietta College; and Consultant for The New York Times in Leadership Program.






Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Maastricht School of Management, having graduated with a PhD from University College London, and a Bachelor’s degree (in History) from the London School of Economics. Dr Jones has authored over 25 full-length internationally-published books on business and management – three of them with Professor Jonathan Gosling. She teaches MBA students across the world, especially courses on leadership, culture and change. Her teaching locations include Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, China, Vietnam, Peru, Surinam, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and several African countries. With a background managing businesses in recruitment, consulting, and training operations in China, India, the Middle East and Australia, Dr Jones gained extensive experience in the corporate sector before returning to academe a decade ago. She is still active in consulting and training. Dr Jones also supervises student theses, at Doctoral, Masters and Diploma level, assessing and evaluating theses around the world. Napoleonic Leadership: a study in power is her third book with Professor Gosling, the others being Nelson’s Way: leadership lessons from the great commander (2005, published by Nicholas Brealey) and Key Concepts in Leadership (2012, also published by Sage). Both authors are keen cruising and sometimes racing sailors, both in UK and across the world.

Professor Jonathan Gosling

Jonathan acts in an advisory capacity for leadership-related projects in commercial, governmental and activist organisations. He has been Professor of Leadership at renowned universities around the world; is a key-note speaker on leadership, power and change; principal investigator for complex research projects; and coordinates Pelumbra’s growing portfolio of programs. His writing covers a spectrum from scholarly philosophical articles on ethics and wisdom, to applicable lessons drawn from historical leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Horatio Nelson.

Jonathan was recently appointed as Visiting Professor at the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre (BLCC) at the University of the West of England and runs his own consulting company, Pelumbra Ltd. 

You can find out more about Jonathan at:

Our authors are available to speak at academic or business functions
Dr Stephanie Jones

News and Updates

Napoleon turns 250!

#Bonaparte swept away the crumbling Holy Roman Empire. After #Waterloo his vision realised in the #German Confederation, a united Italy and freedom for Spanish colonies in South #America. But on his 250th birthay (15 August 1769) can #Britain hold out without empire? How #Napoleon got, held and lost #power

"I wished to found a #European System, a European Code of Laws, a European Judiciary: there would be but one people in Europe" A would-be leader of Europe - 2000s? 1970s? 1950s? #Napoleon Bonaparte, born on 15 Aug 1769. How he got, held and lost #power

 It's easy.#Napoleon Bonaparte, 250th B-day on 15 Aug: "#Europe thus divided into nationalities freely-formed and free internally, peace between states would have been easier - the United States of Europe would have become a possibility" How he got and lost #power

#Bonaparte's Continental System was a #customs union promulgated in November 1806 as an embargo on British goods entering Europe. Both sides fought for #trade deals, most of dubious value. In the 250th year after the birth of #Napoleon (15 August 1769), we’re facing the same chaos. How he got, held and lost #power

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