Personal Productivity

Productivity Methods of the Romans, Vikings and Mongols

The big empires and their Productivity Methods
wrote this on October 22, 2012 / 1 comment

The Romans, Vikings and Mongols overcame tough adversaries.  They succeeded where other nations failed and ultimately became rulers of vast empires. They all had humble origins, but they carved their names into history nevertheless; fascinating our minds with their great achievements and fabulous tales.

They needed to evolve and develop tools and methods.  They needed to be effective and productive to achieve their goals.  All of them were unique; some better at building, others were better at war.  The skill set needed to keep and maintain an empire is quite different from the set of skills you need to erect it in the first place, the romans were the masters of both sets and had an Empire that lasted for a 1000 years as a result…

Productivity methods of The Romans – They knew how to delegate

Three thousand years ago Rome was just a small village struggling with small village problems. Two thousand years ago, Rome evolved to be the center of the Ancient world …alland all roads lead to Rome.

Goods from as far as India found their way to its markets, kings paid homage to its emperors and nations trembled at its wake. Rome established herself as a dominant force not only because of her superior combat tactics, weapons and army. Rome remained dominant for many years because of her ability to delegate successfully.

Roman Soldiers

In the height of her power, when the Roman Empire occupied a territory, it gave the people of said territory freedom to practice their religion, raise their families and even make a living (except Carthage which they obliterated completely).  Rome only replaced the governing ruler with consuls who represented the roman interest in that region (plus a garrison to secure him and to enforce roman laws).  In some cases, the Romans even kept the previous ruler in power, as long as he accepted the roman authority and paid his taxes on time (like in Egypt).

Many nations conquered huge territories but lost them after a short while because they tried to do everything themselves.  Delegation kept the Roman Empire’s pulse running productively for a thousand years.  Delegation clears your schedule an enables you to deal with the things that matter to you the most, learn how to delegate effectively and you’ll raise your own empire in no time.

Productivity methods of the Mongols – They knew how to focus effort

In the 11th century a force rose in the east.  We know that effective fighting force today as the Mongol Empire. They conquered nearly all of Asia, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.

Spearheading them was a ruthless leader called Genghis Khan. Genghis had excellent soldiers with excellent riding skills. The Mongol warriors had three or four horses, changing them often so they won’t wear them out.  Those horses allowed them to travel at high speed for days without stopping and covered great distances.

At their disposal was also the composite longbow (also called the Mogiaja). This bow was built from a few pieces of flexible wood assembled together with durable strings that allowed them to shoot while riding, hitting distant targets with deadly accuracy from horseback.

Mongolian custom

What differentiated the Mongols was their focus on one goal… Genghis Khan’s goal: world domination.

Before Genghis Khan, many Mongol tribes often raided and battled each other; they maintained centuries-old blood feuds. When integrating new soldiers into his army, Genghis divided the soldiers under different leaders to break up the social and tribal connections they had thus unifying them under one cause.  To achieve his goal, Khan kept his soldiers focused, and through it, built the biggest empire the world had ever seen.  After he died, there was no one to lead; their focus disappeared and ultimately their empire split.  Hopefully your goal is not world domination but you can’t achieve your goals if you’re all over the place, focus.

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Productivity methods of the Viking – Flexibility

In the 7th and 8th centuries, the Scandinavians were facing a huge crisis.  Up to that point they were excellent traders.  However, their nation was subjected to unfair trade laws which put their existence into jeopardy.

Viking Longship

Their claim to fame was the Longship – a quick and agile vessel that they used to give them a trading advantage.  Unfortunately, they needed to go on the offensive.  They quickly adapted and converted the Longship – they began using the vessel to help them strike swiftly into the heart of their enemy’s settlements and retract just as fast.

The Longship was the Vikings preferred transport tool and during the dark ages, no sight inspired more fear. Both fast and agile, a single vessel could carry up to 60 warriors bringing them to the Mediterranean or European shores and even carrying them upstream to the mainland. The Vikings were much more effective with those ships, crossing great distances at high speed 14–15 knots (26–28 km/h) hitting small villages and large cities alike. They conducted what was probably the most effective guerrilla warfare the world had ever seen until that point.

We have all faced shifting timelines, constantly changing work and personal landscapes, and unexpected tasks and projects…. How flexible are you in adapting your strengths?

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