In what parts of Homer's The Odyssey is Odysseus represented as a good leader?

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Good leadership is one of Odysseus’ main qualities that Homer accentuates. Because Odysseus is mortal, however, he is also fallible; his quandaries and mistakes help make the epic so engaging.

Part of what makes Odysseus a good leader is using sound judgment about when to follow others’ advice. According to Circe’s advice, for example, he organizes his crew to steer through Scylla and Charybdis. He has the men stop up their ears so they cannot heed the siren’s call, but first he has them lash him to the mast. He wants to be fully aware of the dangers but is sensible enough to anticipate he would lack the strength to resist them.

Even the best leader cannot control all the circumstances. His men’s bad behavior on the island of the Sun God, Helios, is an example of a time when he exercises good leadership, but it does not lead to a positive solution. The men are tired of being onboard ship with limited rations, and succumb to temptation. Finding Helios’ cattle irresistible, they slaughter, roast, and eat some while Odysseus is sleeping. Stepping up to manage the situation, he does get them away from the island.

Finally, Odysseus returns home to deal with the terrible mess the suitors have been making. He acts as a leader by serving both as a role model to his son, Telemachus, and by showing his prowess as a warrior. Although killing all the suitors may sound harsh, he understood the need to indisputably re-establish his claim to his home after being gone so long.

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It is possible to see Odysseus as a good leader when he rightly cautions his men against lingering on Ismarus after they've killed the men and stolen the women and treasures.  Unfortunately, they ignore him, they get attacked by the survivors of their attack, and six men of each ship are lost.  Still, Odysseus gave them sound advice (even though they didn't take it), as a good leader should.

Further, Odysseus appears to be a good leader when his crew arrives in the land of the Lotus-eaters.  He only sends three men to shore, being very cautious after the disaster in Ismarus, and when these three men eat the lotus fruit and want to stay there forever, he physically wrestles them back to the ship.  He knows that, in their heart of hearts, they want to return home to Ithaca, and so he looks out for their best interest even when they cannot. 

Finally, Odysseus seems like a good leader when he takes Circe's advice and makes the tough call to sacrifice six of his men to Scylla rather than risk losing them all to Charybdis.  Even though he knows it will be painful and terrible to lose six of his crew, he knows that it would be better to lose six men than all of them.  Sometimes good leaders have to make difficult decisions for the greater good, and Odysseus does this.

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