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Based upon an examination of the quality of Odysseus’ leadership in The Odyssey by...

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ltacher | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted July 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM via web

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Based upon an examination of the quality of Odysseus’ leadership in The Odyssey by Homer, what would be a sound definition of leadership?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 28, 2013 at 2:57 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that a sound definition of leadership seen in Odysseus is the ability to focus on a vision of success and forgo the short term notions that might preclude it.  Leadership is evident in how Odysseus wishes to go home.  From the outset, his purpose is returning to Ithaca.  The leadership qualities he demonstrates are in alignment to this goal.  He rejects the offer of marriage from Circe and rejects the idea of immortality because he understands the long term vision of needing to return home.  In these examples, sound leadership is the embrace of long term vision, forgoing short term distractions from it.

Leadership is evident in this understanding because it stresses the idea that adherence to long term vision and goal is essential for success.  Odysseus sacrifices short term happiness even when he is with his wife.  He understands that there is a plan that he must follow in revealing his identity.  When he is alone with her, he could easily reveal his identity to her.  Yet, he chooses not to because of the vision of adhering to a plan.  This embodies what Homer would see as sound leadership.  It is reflective of why Odysseus is able to accomplish his goal.

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