Leadership Essay

1199 words - 5 pages

In each of their respective stories, King Henry and Leiningen posses two quality leadership traits. First, both leaders are self-sacrificial. They fight within the ranks of their men, giving himself no special protection or honor. On the battleground, they wish to be treated as a brother in arms, fighting in the trenches with everyone else. The second trait has to do with Henry and Leiningen's mental states. In other words their "mom reflex." Both men have minor breakdowns when it comes to their followers being harmed while under their watch. These two traits are extremely hands-on in nature. They require a certain intensity out of the men that most leaders do not posses. This physicality in each leader's actions is why these men are similar in leadership qualities.

The first leadership trait that both men posses is their willingness to self sacrifice. Most leaders like to withhold power and “call the shots” from safety behind the front lines of war. Henry and Leiningen are not much different, they are not afraid to die for their country/plantation’s good. These leaders enjoy being on the front lines and showing their men how devoted they are to the situation on hand. This situation is shown in the moments before King Henry’s battle of Agincourt. As Henry and his men wait for the battle, Henry gives a motivational speech to emotionally charge his troops. During the speech he says, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile”(218). In this quote, Henry is talking about how grateful he is for all that will fight next to him. When Henry talks about shedding blood with him, he is saying that he is going to be fighting too. This is the main line because he says that he is going to possibly sacrifice himself and be hands-on in the battle, just like every other soldier in the army. The same is true for Leinigen. As the defense against the ants weakens, Leiningen is left with one final move, a move so risky that only he can do it and return alive. He says, “There's still a chance to save our lives--by flooding the plantation from the river. Now one of you might manage to get as far as the weir--but he'd never come back. Well, I'm not going to let you try it; if I did I'd be worse than one of those ants. No, I called the tune, and now I'm going to pay the piper”(19). Here Leininigen is committing the ultimate sacrifice. He doesn’t want to send one of his men to die, so he takes it upon himself to complete the task, a choice only a real self sacrificial leader would make. This decision is also extremely hands-on, Leiningen makes his men sit back behind the last defense while he risks his life to save the day.
The second leadership quote is that as good as both men are in battle, they have mental breakdowns that cause them to make rash decisions. Just as the battle seems over, a traumatising event occurs and the battle may not be won after all....

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