Odysseus Leadership Skills In Homer's The Odyssey

Good Essays
Although good leaders possess responsibility, courage, and kindness, they also make mistakes. Unlike lousy leaders, great leaders learn from their mistakes and use them to become stronger leaders. Learning from mistakes advances leadership skills and expertise. The main character in The Odyssey, Odysseus, followed this concept of learning from his mistakes. In Homer's epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus's leadership skills improve through the challenges he faces, such as escaping the cyclops, the lotus eaters island, and the challenges given by Zeus.
Odysseus's character changes for the superior from the beginning of the book when they are challenged with the task of escaping Polyphemus, the Cyclops. In The Odyssey, Odysseus didn't listen to his
…show more content…
But I ignored their counsel, though that course would have avoided many griefs for us” (Homer 176) . Odysseus's leadership skills improve through the challenges he faces in the book, especially after the Cyclops incident. He thought it would be a good idea to wait so he could finally face and see the cyclops instead of to escape while they could, like his men wanted to. Due to Odysseus's curiosity his men weren't able to escape when they had the chance to and had to suffer being held hostage because of Odysseus's poor leadership skills. Another way Odysseus showed horrible leadership in the beginning was when he put himself before his crewman stating, “I asked my comrades to cast lots to see which men would dare to lift that stake with me and grind it into the Cyclops’ eye when sweet sleep overtook him” (Homer 179). Instead of Odysseus doing everything himself when dealing with the Cyclops, he put one of his own men in…show more content…
As the messenger of the god hears Zeus tell Odysseus that he will survive but all his men will die he state, “O Father Zeus and gods in bliss forever, punish Odysseus’ men!” (Homer 712). Zeus, the god of the sky, informed Odysseus that by the end of their journey only he would survive but none of his men will make it. Also he chooses not to tell his men this information and to keep it to himself. This helps him out because without them knowing, he will still have them by his side helping him survive. Odysseus became an even better leader, since he knew that if he told them this they would stop helping him and leave. Although it may seem like he is being selfish, Odysseus needed their help in order to get home, so he didn't say anything. If they were going to die anyways why tell them now and have them leave, then not tell the at all and them not know. Another way this information made him a better leader was when he stated, “I told them nothing, as they would have done nothing. They would have dropped their oars again, in panic, to roll for cover under the decking” (Homer 708). Odysseus was right about not telling them they would all eventually died because even if they knew they couldn't have done anything about it or to protect themselves. Odysseus was a good leader by not telling his men they would die, because nothing good would have come out of
Get Access