The Leadership Qualities of Odysseus and Shakleton

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Ciera Medeiros
English Honors
Period A
11/29/12

There are many different characteristics that make a person a true leader. Odysseus is a fictional character from a fantasy epic poem known as “The Odyssey.” He traveled on a twenty year journey with many men along with him but in the end all of his men perished; Odysseus can be classified as a leader and a hero along with a man named Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton is a real life man who went on an expedition to reach Antarctica in the years 1914 to 1916. He also had a whole crew with him for the journey and he saved all of them. When comparing leadership of these two men the three most important traits to take into consideration are confidence, balance between tasks and interpersonal relationships, and the ability to stay on track. Every good leader needs some amount of confidence, but too much of it isn’t always a good thing. Both Odysseus and Shackelton are confident in themselves and their abilities but in different ways. Odysseus contains too much confidence he comes off completely arrogant and cocky whereas Shackelton has just enough confidence that his men have faith in him. Odysseus has hubris which means extreme pride or arrogance. If it wasn’t for this he could have gotten himself out of so many situations and saved all of his men. His cockiness got him involved in situations that he thought he could control but he really couldn’t. For example Odysseus wanted to fight off a Cyclopes so when he saw one he knew he had to go after it, and when he did many of his men got killed. On the other hand Shackelton didn’t always feel confident in himself and his journey but he never let his men become aware of that. He always came off extremely confident and always looked comfortable. He had to do this because he knew had a major impact on his crews mind set so he had just enough confidence in him and his men. So as you can see confidence is extremely important in the role of being a hero. Maintaining...
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