How Characters from Harry Potter taught me Leadership – Part One

Why Harry Potter?

We all grew up reading about the endless battle between the chosen one and the one who must not be named. This indeed was my favourite book series. There are times when I revisit some chapter and enjoy reading it again and again. Now, as an MBA student I found many leadership styles in the characters and decided to write about them. The leadership lessons can be learnt from fictional as well as real life characters. Harry Potter covers most of the leadership styles. Dumbledore is a headmaster of Hogwarts. He is calm, composed and believes in giving freedom to a large extent. On the other hand, Dolorus Umbridge is the exact antithesis to that. She is a dictator. She does not believe giving autonomy to the teachers. The list will go on. A few characters have been picked up from the book and has been analysed for their leadership qualities.

Harry Potter

The protagonist in the series, Harry is the character which fights Voldemort and kills him. In the process, he displays many leadership qualities.

A leader is trusted by all

Harry was known to all as a figure who will fight the devil and free everyone. The chosen one as they would say. But this does not mean that he will not have to prove himself. Snape questioned others’ judgement on the very first day of the classes. Harry saved Nevile’s dream ball from Draco and the group welcomed him. Several such incidents show that other wizards used to trust him a lot. He almost always proved them right. Be it winning a Quidditch match or building Dumbledore Army, he always was a trusted choice. His friends always counted on him.

A leader should be courageous

Harry was brave. He courageously fought Quirrell in the first book. He decided to accept the challenge and entered into the competition in Order of Phoenix. The frantic search of the horcrux and battling Voldemort and death eaters shows his bravery.  Most of the leaders are brave. I think courageousness should not be looked in to isolation. A good leader is courteous as well as clear about his/her goals.

If trust and bravery coexist then the leader truly will be successful. Let’s take an example of Mahatma Gandhi. He was liked by all. Everyone trusted his word. He was also unperturbed by the threats by British Government.

A leader has an ability to inspire.

Harry has always been successful in inspiring his fellow friends and students. He along with Hermione initiated the talks about building the Dumbledore Army. He inspired many into joining it. They all trusted him and were ready to be part of the fight.

A leader delegates and knows his team well.

This is more in the context of modern day business leaders. The leaders who essentially are successful in leading companies or their entrepreneurial ventures, often quote that the art of delegation is a must. Harry knew his friends very well and he knew their strengths as well. Right from capturing philosopher’s stone to the final battle between him and Voldemort. He has used his team’s strengths wisely.

A leader is passionate about his goal.

Don Quixote was a perfect example of this. He was passionate about his goal. Such people immerse themselves completely in achieving it no matter what the conditions are. Harry also was sure of his goal and was clearly passionate about it. So much so that he was ready to sacrifice his life for it. A similar example is of Bhagat Singh. He fought bravely and in the end sacrificed his life for the freedom of India. The ambition can be seen by the commitment he shows towards his task.

A leader walks the talk.

Harry has not merely delegated the work. He was always part of the mission. He never was inconsistent in his words and actions. Starting from finding the philosopher’s stone to searching for horcruxes. He always initiated. He paved way for himself and others. When a leader is so congruent in his/her actions and words, others will follow.

I will be covering a few other characters in the series of articles.