Alexander The Great: Powerful and Influential
When I think of someone who had power, and influence upon others, I think of Alexander The Great. People use the words “power” and “influence” interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Power is described as “the capacity to produce effects on others, or the potential to influence others” (PSU, Lesson 7: Power and Influence, 2020, p. 1). From 336 to 323 B.C, Alexander The Great united the Greek city states and led the Corinthian League.
Alexander the Great had a lot of power, since his father was King Phillip ll and his mother was Queen Olympias. When Alexander was only 16 years old, his father put him in charge and Alexander defeated the Thracian people and named the city after himself. Not long after, Alexander’s father was killed. Rumors arose that Alexander had his father killed to continue to be in charge. Alexander The Great was set on a mission to dominate the world, and killed everyone that got in the way of that mission. Was Alexander The Great powerful because he came from a powerful family, or was it because people feared him?
“Personalized power: individuals with a high need for personalized power are selfish, impulsive, uninhibited, and lacking in self-control. These people exercise power for their own needs, not for the good of the organization” (PSU, Lesson 7:Power and Influence, 2020, p.1). Alexander from a young age was designed for greatness. His mother always told him he was meant to be a God, even went as far as telling him he was the son of Zeus.
We can see Alexander The Great had the potential to influence others, by his family life, and his killings. Influence tactics are actual behaviors that are used by an individual to change opinions, attitudes, and behaviors. Alexander had his army behind him, but he had to get his followers to follow him. So how did he do that?
As the story goes, when Alexander was only 20 years old, he went all around the world and killed all his rivals. Alexander was a great military man, and showed his military worth on the battlefield. “Alexander put his vigor and bravery on display, and his cavalry decimated the Sacred Band of Thebes” (Alexander The Great, 2020, p. 1). After multiple wins on the battlefield, Alexander headed to the Gordian Knot. The Gordian Knot is a group of tightly-entwined knots yoked to an ancient wagon. Legend had it whoever unwound the knot would conquer all of Asia. Alexander took this as a challenge and sliced through the knot, making it known to his followers that he would conquer the world.
There are different types of influential tactics. “Inspirational Appeals: agents make a request or proposal designed to arouse enthusiasm or emotions in targets” (PSU, Lesson 7: Power and Influence, 2020, p. 1). This is what Alexander did with the Gordian Knot. No one in this time could unravel this knot, and Alexander saying he would undo this knot, and coming in and doing it showed how serious of a leader he was. Another one is Legitimizing Tactics where agents make requests based on their position or authority. Alexander had this power, and was killing everyone that was in his way. He was even killing his own followers. His followers were sure to make sure everything Alexander wanted was complete because they did not want to upset him, and possibly be killed.
Alexander The Great can be listed as someone who was powerful and had influence on those around him. Some people feared him, while others respected him. He was a good leader, and a good military man. He led his followers to win every single battle.
Alexander The Great. History. February, 2020. RETRIEVED AT https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/alexander-the-great
Pennsylvania State University World Campus. (2020). Psych 485 Lesson 7: Power and Influence. Retrieved June 9, 2020, from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/canvas/su20/2205min-5439/content/08_lesson/printlesson.html