Leadership Persuasive Speech
Leader. What qualities do you need to become a successful leader? Each letter in the word leader gives us a clue to what these might be. L is for learning from others. E is for empathy, feeling for others. A is for affection for others. D is for dedication to do one’s best. E is for enthusiasm to do one’s best. And R is for responsibility for one’s actions. These are some of the qualities a leader should possess.
So what are these qualities about? By learning from other people’s experiences, we can see the way to move forward. Leaders feel for their people by having empathy and can lead them into the direction needed. Having affection for one’s people will help people work as a team. A leader must be able to dedicate themselves to their people so they can move in the right direction. Enthusiasm to lead will make leading more enjoyable and will result in better productivity. Responsibility is when a leader accepts what they have done, either right or wrong, and will move productively afterwards.
The Ancient Greeks believed that it wasn’t the mistakes that happen during someone’s life, but how they rectified the situation was what mattered. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they are only new at what they are doing; like giving someone the wrong change when working at a fast-food shop. We still have to deal with the problem productively and not give up because of a few bumps in the road.
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Probably the greatest of Ancient Greek tragedies, King Oedipus, is a play by Sophocles about the King of Thebes. He had a prophecy bestowed on him at birth that stated that he had to kill his father and marry his mother. This did not stop him from having many great qualities that should be possessed by a leader. Perhaps his best quality was that he empathised with his people. He did not wait for his people to ask him to help them when their town was suffering; he already knew and had taken steps toward solving the problem. Another good quality of Oedipus was that he was open with his people. When Creon returned with news about the town, Oedipus said, “Speak before all. Their plight concerns me now, more than my life” (p.28). This shows that he was honest and deeply cared for the well being of his people. Although his openness was a superb quality it also led to his downfall. As leaders we should not get the impression that this makes us better than others. Oedipus thought he was better than what his prophecy bestowed on him, but he inevitably carried out the prophecy unknowingly. Oedipus was a proud leader but was also quick to anger and threatened people who denied or worked against him. He was quick to pass the blame over to someone else when he thought that he was in danger. As leaders we need to follow the Ancient Greek belief and take responsibility for our mistakes. Others will forgive us if we admit to our errors and try to fix what we’ve done wrong rather than blame someone else and let them take the burden for our mistakes.
Nelson Mandela is one of the greatest leaders of modern time. He is an awarded activist and former prime minister of South Africa, most famous for his peace work. After many years of racial tension in South Africa, he proposed reconciliation and negotiation between the people of South Africa. People see him as one of the greatest leaders of modern time, because he listened to and spoke for his people. He was one of his people and experienced what they had experienced. Today he still displays great leadership by speaking out about current problems, like HIV/AIDs.
Martin Luther King Junior was another example of a great leader. He believed dearly in a peaceful America and was known as a great public speaker. If he wasn’t assassinated, he potentially could have become the first black president of America. He suffered for his people and paid the ultimate price for his people by dying. He possessed the qualities of tolerance, empathy, dedication, affection, enthusiasm and responsibility. These are the qualities I spoke about earlier.
As Grade 12 students, we demonstrate leadership everyday. Simply by doing our homework, picking up litter and being polite to teachers and other students demonstrates positive leadership. For younger students to do the right thing, we have to, as Grade 12s, role model the right thing to do. So we might not all want to be a leader at school; but simply by role modelling the right thing, which isn’t hard to do, we can make everyone’s life at Ormiston College better. School captains and prefects aren’t the only leaders in the grade; we all can contribute in our own different way. Being a successful leader is beneficial as we get satisfaction by everyone working together.
Do you remember when it didn’t matter who you played with in the playground? Just as long as there was a good game happening? Well now that we are seniors of the school, we shouldn’t let our age and maturity difference stop us from talking to younger year levels. What’s wrong with playing soccer with the Grade 8s at lunch? Or asking, “How are you?” when we walk past other grades? Having empathy for how the Grade 8s feel and being enthusiastic to help them settle in shows our leadership qualities. Also by showing good work ethic and wearing our uniform properly shows us as responsible role models for younger grades.
Some people may argue that the world is becoming a better place because of the actions demonstrated by certain leaders. However we cannot hide from the fact that we are also damaging the world due to poor leadership. George Bush and John Howard have both demonstrated poor leadership qualities, by not listening to their people and the direction that they want to go in. They have tried to ignore the reality of climate change and not listen to their citizen’s concerns. They have demonstrated poor leadership, although they may be good leaders on other issues. We all possess qualities that would make us great leaders. But we can all be leaders in our own different ways. Simply by taking charge and picking up a piece of rubbish is demonstrating leadership. We can act today, by starting off simply, in changing the way our world is run in hope to put the world back to where it should be. In the workplace we can demonstrate leadership and rise to make our environment better. Mr Webster would have started out as a teacher in a school, and then chose to move further and become the Headmaster, the leader of the school. So at your future or current workplace, at school and in your community, you can strive to become a better leader, and make your environment more enjoyable and productive.