How Characters from Harry Potter taught me Leadership – Part Two

Tom Riddle (Voldemort)

Antagonist in the Harry Potter series, he terrorizes the reader many times. He has had a disturbing past. He was raised in an orphanage. His leadership style might not connote any positive meaning. Nevertheless, he was able to lead death eaters. This shows that he did possess leadership qualities. He used it for the wrong purposes.

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A leader never gives up

Voldemort throughout the series is obsessed by one goal. He wants to gain power and kill Harry. He is defeated many times. But he never gave up. He was not deterred by the roadblocks like losing his body when he tried to kill baby Harry. He managed to overcome all the hurdles and came back strong.

A leader has a clear vision and plans accordingly.

Voldemort was clear of his goal of domination of the world of magic. Only intentions do not lead anyone to victory. It is the vision to anticipate the phenomena and the ability to plan accordingly is what matters. Voldemort knew what needs to be done. He also was a brilliant planner. The way he tricked Harry into participating in the tri-wizard tournament is an apt example. He planned for the future by taking into account contingencies as well.

A leader successfully manages others.

He was feared by most of the people who were on his side. He used a negative reinforcement to get his work done. In a business context, it can be said that he used carrot and stick approach to make his team work. He was successful in doing that as most of the death eaters were loyal to him whatever may be the reason.

A leader displays great amount of conviction.

Every leader is always sure of his vision. He/she believes in what he/she is doing. Voldemort never ever doubted his intentions or his end goal. He was always sure of his capabilities and the means. Both can be evil but he was confident. His conviction was admirable.

Albus Dumbledore

Albus Dumbledore was the headmaster of Hogwarts. He assumes a key role in the entire series. He is looked upon as a great mentor, a learned teacher and a strategist.

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A leader has an ability to inspire.

Dumbledore by profession was a headmaster. His job was to lead people and the school in right direction. The authoritative power does not always suffice in motivating people. There are many examples of that. Tughlaq proves that. Dumbledore was more than a mere administrator. He was able to inspire the students and teachers. He inspired Harry in many ways.

A leader is exemplar.

Dumbledore was a great exemplar. His way of acting on the things. His knowledge and ability to solve difficult situations easily was truly amazing. He was a role model of many students and teachers. He always acted on his theories. If he believed in something, he would make sure that the success is achieved in it. He sacrificed his own life in the quest of stopping Voldemort. He died in the process. Leaders having such qualities are able to influence people in an unbelievable way.

A leader is the master of finesse.

The word finesse reminds everyone of Lord Krishna. He is the master of finesse. In Mahabharata, not only he convinced Arjuna to fight but also used Ghatotkach as a pawn to force Karna into giving away his celestial powers. In the same way, Dumbledore also convinces the ministry that Voldemort is back. He knows how to get things done. He asks Harry to accompany him in order to persuade Slughorn in joining Hogwarts back. He also manages to convince the jury to free Harry of all the charges after the dementors’ attack.

A leader is a master strategist too.

Dumbledore knew when to use his powers. He also was a great strategist. This is evident from his planning to hunt down horcruxes and restrain the ministers from arresting him. He was exceptional in setting up “Order of the Phoenix”. He guided Harry on numerous occasions like in the Half Blood Prince when Harry had to retrieve a memory from Professor Slughorn. Krishna and Chankya were also the great strategist. Krishna convinced Arjuna to kill Karna even when he was against it.

Be it a Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore or Arjuna, all the leaders have some similarities. Their approach to solve the problems at hand and  the strategies they formulate intrigues me.

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