Do Great Leaders Have to be Outgoing?

Martin Luther King Jr gives a speech.

Martin Luther King Jr gives a speech.

Logan Bell

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There’s been a long debate over what makes a great leader.  Some say confidence, integrity, humility, accountability, decision-making capabilities, and more.  I agree great leaders should have all these qualities, but let’s face it, sometimes they don’t.  For example, Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II.  His leadership during the darkest hours of World War II was vital in keeping citizens in high spirits and eventually leading them to victory over Germany.  Winston was voted the greatest ever Briton by citizens in 2002.  In my opinion, Churchill was a great leader that paved the way for Britain to rise to victory over Germany.  Although, some people argue that Churchill had many flaws that the public failed to see.  Many say Churchill was standoffish and a private person.  He was very blunt and not afraid to give his opinion when he spoke.  Even though Churchill wasn’t a very outgoing person, he is still thought of as one of the greatest leaders in Britain.

If you look at how Martin Luther King Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement, you’ll find he led without violence and only powerful words.  Martin Luther was very outgoing and gave speeches all over the country about equal rights for African Americans.  Because of his persistence and his ability to reach out to so many people, he is considered the leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

If you compare these two men, they both possess many of the same qualities such as integrity, decision-making capabilities, and accountability.  However, where Churchill is more reserved, Martin was very outspoken.  Despite one being reserved and one being more outgoing, they’re both considered great leaders by people all over the world.  I think this proves that to be a great leader, you don’t have to be overly outgoing.  Of course, you should possess good people skills, but sometimes silence speaks louder than words.