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Leadership Qualities Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

What is a leader? In times of crisis the ultimate survival of a group depends on the leader, or person who steps forward to take control, direct others, and maintain order. Although in today's society people are judged based on their appearance, yet looks have no influence on whether or not a person is capable of being a successful leader. Instead, good leadership is based on the individual skills and traits that the person possesses. The characters Ralph, Jack, Simon, and Piggy in William Golding's Lord of the Flies are perfect examples of people who may not be the best looking physically, but who despite this have the superior qualities to be an excellent leader.

Ralph is undoubtedly the most well rounded leader on the entire island. He shows courage and confidence, both of which are key characteristics of a great leader. An excellent example of Ralph’s courage appears when the boys venture out in search of the beast into unknown parts of the island. "His mouth was tight and pale. He put back his hair very slowly.....He forced his feet to move until they carried him out on to the neck of the land" (Golding 130). Ralph instinctively knows that as a leader he must physically take charge of the search party, despite his feelings of fear. Another small situation were Ralph shows courage is when he steps in between 2 people arguing and takes control of the situation. “Ralph pushed between them and got a thump on the chest.” (Golding 90). Alongside courage, Ralph also exhibits confidence in his role of leadership. Throughout the novel, Ralph consistently says what needs to be done with confidence. In chapter 2, Ralph lays down the rules and what must be done to survive. “If we have a signal going, they’ll come…And another thing. We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down here.” (Golding 42). Here is a prime example of Ralph showing his confidence in the orders and laws he gives. These are only two of the many qualities of a leader.

Jack clearly possesses a barrage of different leadership qualities; however are mostly qualities of a poor and controlling leader. Right from the start, Jack had an assertive, controlling personality, and an intimidating look. These qualities can be very effective when it comes to leadership. Jack’s assertive nature is demonstrated all throughout. Jack yells aloud, “A fire, make a fire!” (Chap2). Jack faded away from asking into demanding things to be done. This shows the aggressiveness in Jacks nature that can be either positive or a negative quality as a leader. However aside from his assertiveness, Jack also withholds a controlling personality. Jack is seen as a leader from the beginning, for he is introduced as the leader of the choirboys. He is even said to control them. Piggy feels frightened by Ralph as he says, “…intimidated by this uniformed superiority.” (Golding 21). Jack gives the presence of a leader throughout the novel. He may be a controlling leader;...

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