C4 The role of leaders

  • A good leader should provide a stable base for a group, should be able to inspire group members to take action, should be able to keep the group united, should have the confidence to speak out if things go wrong and should always be open to new ideas. However, leaders should also be people who are always ready to listen, especially before making decisions.
  • People often choose strong individuals with influence and wealth as group leaders. Sometimes this may be the right choice, but sometimes these individuals lead the group in the way they want, rather than the way most of the members want. A quieter person who listens well, may prove to be a good leader, especially if they are really committed to the group’s well-being.

Discussion  

  • Suggest at least five qualities that a good leader should have. Discuss what order of importance participants think these should have. Can you think of people who have one of these qualities? Can these qualities be developed or encouraged?
  • Discuss the importance of a leader in maintaining and supporting a group. If there is no one person who has all the necessary qualities, are there two or three people who have some of the necessary qualities, who could lead together? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
  • A useful exercise is to send out small groups to observe together the way in which ducks and chickens care for their young. After a short period, bring groups together and discuss what each group has observed and discussed. How useful is this when considering the role of a leader?