General Washington – A True Leader

Please compose an analytical essay on the topic of ‘leadership.’

Throughout the American Revolution, John Adams often humbly remarked, “We are ordinary men living in extraordinary times.” Due to his modest nature, Mr. Adams most likely believed his statement to be true. However, I must disagree with Mr. Adams. The Founding Fathers were not ordinary men, but extraordinary men. Furthermore, a convincing case can be made that General George Washington was the most extraordinary of them all.If one were to look up the definition of leadership in a dictionary and then meticulously compare it to the character of George Washington, I am confident that not a single legitimate contrast could be made. Being a leader, however, means much more than ostensibly conforming to some lexicon’s definition. One cannot be a leader because he fits a certain stereotype; true leadership is defined only in the hearts and minds of followers. Using this criterion to evaluate leadership, one would be hard-pressed to cite a better or more effective leader than George Washington.George Washington’s role as a leader was established long before the Revolutionary War. As a Major in the Virginia Militia, Washington fought valiantly and bravely in the French and Indian War. He was by no means perfect or untouchable, as he suffered near-death episodes of dysentery and numerous military defeats in his early career. Instead of quitting, however, he exhibited an unparalleled sense of determination and relentlessness, earning the respect and admiration of the men under his command. A fundamental characteristic of a true leader is fearlessness in the face of hardship and danger. Throughout his life, Washington would prove over and over again that this was a characteristic that he possessed in seemingly infinite supply. During one military campaign, his unit came under attack from a confused and disoriented friendly unit. Seeing that friendly fire was killing American men on both sides, Washington rode his horse into the no-man’s land between the two sides, exposing himself to musket fire from both groups! He was unharmed (though his clothes were shot-up) and within moments, the fighting ceased as both groups recognized their leader in his dangerous effort to placate the situation.Countless stories like the aforementioned one lend further proof to the battlefield bravery and leadership of George Washington. His leadership, however, was not limited to military matters. Due to his unparalleled honesty and integrity, Washington was unanimously chosen as the Commander of the Continental Army and later as the first President of The United States under the present government. In office, Washington continued to always act responsibly and honestly, setting precedent after precedent as to the manner in which the Presidency should be conducted. Of all the men who are known today as the “Founding Fathers,” Washington was and still remains the most predominate. He was the first true “father” of the United States; Washington oversaw its birth, protected it to the best of his ability during its infant years, and used his superior leadership skills to guide the nation in the right direction.Virtually no man was ever respected in the history of this nation as was General Washington. While this country has seen many exquisite and courageous leaders over the years, Washington remains one of, if not the most, outstanding. Through his remarkable leadership, Washington fought for and secured freedom for his compatriots and all future generations of Americans. Amending John Adam’s quotation, General George Washington was truly an extraordinary man living in extraordinary times.

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