Why do we choose the leaders that we do?: In the following paper, I’m going to
attempt to explain why it is that we choose the leaders in which we do. There
are many various reasons why we pick certain individuals to lead us. The first
one, which is in no relation to Lord of the Flies, is by being appointed. People
are often predetermined leaders. One of the most obvious examples of this is
royalty. For thousands of years, sons and daughters of royal families are given
power when their parents pass on. If both king and queen pass on, and they have
no children, then the next closest relative will take power. “In the past,
chiefdoms existed in a great number of Polynesian societies on Pacific Ocean
islands, such as those that make up what is now Hawaii. Chiefdoms were the first
societies to have positions of defined, permanent leadership. Chiefdoms still
exist in some places under national governments. For instance, chiefs of the
Kpelle of Liberia are political leaders for the country’s national
districts.” Culture,” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99.
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Another example of an
appointed leader is when a leader appoints someone to a position of power. In
this day and age, we do this in our own country. The president has the authority
to give members of his cabinet jobs that come with power. In the military,
Larkin 2 people are constantly advanced in rank. By doing this, they are given
more power and put into a position of leadership. However, this isn’t the only
way people come into power. Many tribes (Indians, African, Eskimo) have
different systems of government. Some have several, leaders others have just
one. “Within most tribes, all groups commonly have about equal status.
Since every person belongs to a descent group, no one person ranks too far above
or below another. In some tribes, however, people known as big men might earn a
degree of higher status and respect than others by demonstrating bravery or
bravado.” Culture,” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99.
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This was exhibited by both
Ralph and Jack. First by Ralph by him electing to search for the
“Beastie” on Castle Rock. He knew that in order to keep his place as
the leader, he couldn’t show fear. After Ralph was on the jetty, realizing that
he might loose any chance of power, Jack soon decides to overcome his fear and
follow. The second time was when the boys were climbing the cliff, once again to
search for the Larkin 3 Beast. This time, Ralph stayed behind and Jack went
first. Jack knew that being brave would get him more respect and put him one
step closer to being chief. Thus, by showing their bravery, the boys fought for
the position of leadership. And then, there’s strength. Strength plays a big
part in leadership. In humans as well as wild animals. Many animals live in
pacts. Within this group are different classes. At the top of the chain is the
leader. For example, take the silverback gorilla. The silverback gorilla is the
leader of its group because he is able to take control and fight off enemies. If
there is a danger, he will confront it. However, if another silverback comes
along, challenges the original leader, and wins, the original leader will
abandon the group and live a solitary life. At this time, the winner will take
over. Strength has over come weakness, and the winning gorilla is rewarded with
power. Plus, within the group, there are two other subdominant male gorillas who
receive their power based upon their strength. This is common in many other
animals. Gorilla Dynamics,” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99.
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Larkin 4 Leaders can
become leaders by using their talent. Their talent of talking. Speeches,
convincing the masses, ect. Adolph Hitler was a good speaker. Through his
methods, he was able to convince thousands of people to follow him. He brought
out peoples passions. Told them what they wanted to hear. Gave them someone to
blame for their problems. And by doing this, the people choose him to lead them.
They believed in him, his ideas, and, for the most part, many of his methods. We
pick our politicians because of what they say. Why did the Republican Party
choose over ? Because he was a good speaker. With his words he was able to
convince his party that he was the right choice for the Presidential candidate.
Labor Union Leaders are chosen as well because they are good speakers. Ernest
Bevin was a “British labor leader and statesman. About 1909, after working
at a number of manual trades, he became a labor organizer. In 1920 he gained a
nationwide reputation by making a speech before the Transport Workers’ Court of
Larkin 5 Inquiry that resulted in a standard minimum wage for British
dockworkers.” Bevin, Ernest,” Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99.
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Or maybe it is their
charisma. “Recent studies found that people experience personal attractions
to a charismatic leader. People feel comfortable with a charismatic leader. They
end up trusting, obeying, feeling compasion for their leader and even “feel
an emotional involvement in the mission they are led into” (Http://psychology.about.com/education).
Look at such leaders as Adolph Hitler, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and
Martin Luther King jr. They all had charisma, all were loved and adored by the
people they led, and all had a large number of dedicated followers. Several
years ago, there was a cult known as Heavens Gate. The cult was founded and led
by a man by the name of Marshall Herff Applewhite. In 1975, he claimed to be a
space alien. Soon after he convinced a group of 20 people to leave their lives
behind and join him. Then, they moved to Colorado to meet with a space ship that
was supposedly going to pick them all up…Obviously, the ship never came.
Eighteen years later, he and his group resurfaced. In early 1997, he as well as
the rest of his followers, committed mass suicide. How was he able to have these
people believe his outlandish story? Through charisma. A former disciple of
Applewhites’ stated “I don’t think he Larkin 6 needed to have a following.
I think he was the kind of person that truly believed and had a lot of charisma.
And so other people followed him.” (“Applewhite,” CNN.com. March
28, 1997) So why do we pick our leaders? It is truly a hard question. You can
think long and hard but still not have a definitive answer. That is because it’s
not just one characteristic, nor is it always the same set of characteristics
that makes a leader, a leader. A leader can not be a leader with out followers.
Each follower is looking for something different. So, he or she finds the one
with the desired traits; Strength, passion, intelligence, charisma, so on and so
on. So, what do you look for when choosing a leader? Is it because the person is
an overall good leader, or simply a good speaker?