Cleopatra: An Example for Modern Women Leaders?

  • Paul Vanderbroeck


This paper analyses Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt from a modern leadership perspective in the historical context. Cleopatra’s leadership behaviour is analysed through the lens of modern leadership practice. First her key leadership challenges are described: career management, managing Egypt’s joint venture with Rome, moving her country from loss to profit; and ensuring her own succession. Her behaviour in meeting those challenges is then analysed to see which and to what extent she used particular leadership competencies: Vision and Strategy Development, Overcoming Internal Competition, Leveraging Difference, Generating Positive Change, Stakeholder Management, Building and Maintaining a Network. Cleopatra was strongest in leveraging her difference as a woman and weakest in building and maintaining a network. Modern women can learn from Cleopatra's strengths and weaknesses in order to avoid pitfalls and follow those behaviours that fit today’s organizational challenges.


Joint Venture Leadership Behaviour Leadership Development Stakeholder Management Leadership Competency 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PVDB ConsultingGeneva and ZurichSwitzerland

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