If real estate feels like a war right now, you need to strategize and lead like Napoleon.

It seems like an appropriate time for the release of the new Napoleon movie, doesn’t it? When you combine all the shifts in the market, the economy, and our industry, it’s apparent that we’re standing at a moment in which our actions could shape the future of real estate.

Napoleon rose to power during one of the most turbulent times in the history of France, and his meteoric rise was possible because of the opportunities he saw which no one else did. We’re waiting for leaders to emerge – leaders like you – and seize the market. 

Now, I haven’t seen the movie but I have done a lot of reading on Napoleon himself. In this blog, I’m going to break down some of the personal qualities and strategies that Napoleon used to win 90% of the battles he fought and shape the world to his vision.


Napoleonic Strategy No. 1: Embrace Chaos – Stay Calm & Adaptable 

“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and his enemy’s.”

A lot of leaders in war and business today still think that power is about controlling external factors. They’re so focused on controlling everything around them that it puts them in a constant state of reaction. Napoleon realized early on that grasping for control was unproductive. 

Battles (like business) are fluid, and therefore impossible to perfectly predict. The way to win is to have a flexible strategy that can be quickly adapted to the situation. It is always better to adapt than to react, and this requires two things: a flexible strategy and a calm, open mind.

Even when battles took a turn for the worse, Napoleon was able to keep his cool and adjust his strategy instead of freaking out and abandoning it. His ability to stay calm under pressure was a superpower that led him to purposely seek out and cause chaos – because chaos was where he thrived above everyone else.


Napoleonic Strategy No. 2: Lead by Showing Respect & Solidarity to Raise Morale

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.” 

Napoleon understood that to win battles, your soldiers had to be motivated to fight long and hard for you. They had to be willing to die for you. And that’s why he treated them with a level of respect that’s rarely seen in modern business. 

He took the time to learn and remember the names of even the lowest-ranking soldiers under his command and would share his own personal rations with them if he saw they were hungry. At feasts, he would make sure the seating was randomly assigned so that privates sat next to generals and high-ranking officials, and everyone was ordered to treat every soldier with respect and dignity. 

In a time when it was common for officers to physically abuse those under their command, Napoleon threatened to shoot any officers he saw doing so. He raised the pay of the working soldiers, cut out corruption in the higher ranks, and ensured that everyone was eligible for advancement. Those who had risen in rank could even express their dissatisfaction directly to Napoleon without fear of consequences. 

And of course, Napoleon knew that his physical presence during the battle made all the difference. Even when he’d gained enough power that no one could blame him for sitting on the sidelines, he fought alongside his army, surging them with courage and letting them know that everything would be alright.

Take these lessons seriously. Treat your people with respect. Pay them well. Ensure they’re always advancing. And don’t hide in your office.


Napoleonic Strategy No. 3: Prioritize Ruthlessly and Never Multi-Task 

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Today, we are constantly bombarded with texts, emails, and calls. Our senses are literally assaulted with information, and we take that as normal.

But doesn’t that speed of information seem like something that would be extremely beneficial during a war? Again, Napoleon surprises.

He ordered his secretary Bourrienne to not open any of the mail they received until three weeks after it had arrived. Three weeks… 

Doesn’t it seem like some of that mail would be extremely urgent? Well, that’s the point. Napoleon figured that if he opened a bunch of different emergencies and then responded to them all, he’d be spreading his forces (his attention) too thin. Waiting three weeks allowed most of these conflicts to resolve themselves naturally, leaving him to focus his attention on only the ones that still remained an issue. 

For Napoleon, solving issues was just like fighting on the battlefield – it was all about concentrating efforts to strike a small area with as much force as possible.

Maybe it’s time to put some rules around your email and social accounts.


Napoleonic Strategy No. 4: Live by Your Vision, Always

“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”

“Imagination rules the world.”

Many consider Napoleon to be an egomaniac – the phrase “Napoleon Complex” is even widely used to describe someone who overcompensates for a perceived inferiority. 

But let me ask those people this… What the heck would you want him to do, dream smaller and follow the crowd? Do you think he would’ve conquered the world if he hadn’t spoken his greatness into existence?

No way. Napoleon’s rise from poverty to power, his crowning as emperor, and his dominion over Europe were all impossible – until he made them possible. And making them possible began in his mind. He had to talk to himself as if greatness was undeniable. Everything he did, every breath he took, was with the aim of establishing a dominant French Empire over Europe. 

Look at any person who has become hugely successful and changed the world; when you dig deep enough, every single action they take always comes back to one definite purpose. Elon Musk, love him or hate him, has stated that everything he does is done in the service of establishing a civilization on Mars. An impossible dream right? Only if you say it is.

The most important takeaway here is to be very cautious of goals that are too small. Why would anyone want to follow you for something mediocre and laced with doubt? Dream big. Believe it. Talk about it like it’s already real.


Napoleonic Strategy No. 5: Don’t Wait to Take Action

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”

Strategy can be dangerous to some business operators. There is a lot of comfort in strategizing. There is no consequence to it. You could think and deliberate endlessly without having to ever do what you say you will – and without ever achieving your desired result. 

Napoleon was a genius thinker, but one of the great hallmarks of that genius was his ability to allow himself to stop thinking and merely execute. 

Create the plan. Follow the plan. Adjust if necessary. See things through to the end.


This is a Revolutionary Time

As I said at the beginning, there is a lot of chaos out there in the market, but if you learn to think like Napoleon and view the opportunity in chaos, there’s no limit to what you’ll be able to achieve right now.

If you’re seeking greatness, this is your moment to strike for it. Leaders will rise and they will be the ones who act bravely, take risks, and adapt instead of blindly reacting. 

There is a proven path to dominating greater market share and establishing your own empire. It’s right here. 

Hope this has been helpful! Let me know what you think!