I take pride in bringing the latest techniques and insights to my clients. But it turns out the origins of what I do go back at least 2500 years. I discovered this while reading Lawrence Freedman’s new sprawling history of all manners of strategy, called (fittingly) Strategy: A History.
Professor Freedman traces the modern use of the term “strategy” back to the 19th century, when it was used by von Clausewitz and others to describe the application of empirical science and reason to the conduct of military campaigns.
Strategy = leadership
But the term “strategy” ultimately derives from Greece in the fifth century BC, when a military leader or strategos was expected to “lead from the front, fight with the best, and show total commitment.”
Thus strategy is, at its core, about leadership. The leader, be it in military or business affairs, is the one (to quote leadership expert Robert Reiss) whose job it is to guide the group from HERE to THERE — however those start and end points are defined.