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Study of the Greek Mythological Leader 'Achilles'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: History
Wordcount: 2392 words Published: 17th Sep 2021

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Achilles is the leader chosen by me as he inspired me a lot in his way of tackling with the enemies and befriending the loved ones till his last breath. The legendary warrior is considered as the handsomest and the strongest during the times of the Trojan war. The Greek hero was known as the undefeatable during his time and plays lead role in the epic poem Iliad.

Achilles had huge number of followers impressed by his military leadership styles and effectiveness in commanding his subordinates to fight for a cause. His ability of quick decision making and dealing with emergency situations was unmatched. There emerged none to fight against him or question his strength as a result of the deep impact he created during the past.

Achilles was the son of Peleus, the king of Myrmidons of Thessaly and the sea nymph Thetis. Born as the baby of a mortal father and an immortal mother, he was only half human. But the most interesting fact is that the Greek hero fought like a man with no supernatural powers and died like a normal human being.

Achilles heel is a common term used lately for referring to ‘areas of weakness’ or ‘vulnerable spot’. The myth says that it was predicted that The Man would be killed by an arrow being struck to his heel. Naturally his goddess mother found an alternative by taking her son to the magical river Styx and dipping him inside to make her baby immortal. But as always luck hit as otherwise. The portions which she held the baby upside down made the regions of his heel been covered by Thetis’s thumb and forefinger. The prediction came true and Achilles gets killed by Paris (younger brother of Hector and ruler of the Trojans after Hectors death) with the help of Apollo by aiming an arrow to his heel.

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During the succeeding generations, people went crazy hearing his tales and even went for tattooing and making scenes of his fights in crafts and related artefacts, creating sculptures and statues in the prominent places. There is also a famous term used by people, ‘no matter how big you become, there will always be a Achille’s Heel’. The war and the legendary heroes aroused interests among movie makers and it rushed up the theatres. The latest one was Troy in which the Hollywood actor Brad Pitt plays the lead role as Achilles.

Achilles was a man who indulged in all the business of his times. Being the right hand of one of the greatest ruling kings, Agamemnon, he was provided with all sorts of worldly pleasures. He lead a careless life taking everything for granted, but never found the true peace of mind and inner satisfaction. During the times of the war, he met with a girl whom he truly fell in love and it is said that the girl made him realise the true taste of eternal peace and his soul was freed forever in the last.

Achilles was a man of high optimism. There was a confidence in his eyes that sparkled during situations of mental dilemma’s. This could be explained based on a fight that Achilles undertook. He had to bring compromise between the Greeks and their direct rival. The bet was to stop a war if one from each side dealt on a face to face fight and the side which wins gets to have the ownership of the land. The opposites presented an extremely huge guy whom normal people couldn’t be even compared with. Achilles was the man called upon from the Achaen’s side who stood against the hulk and he defeated him in just seconds.

The trust that the King had in Achilles while choosing him as the sole personality to represent the Achaen’s, measures his worth. He always displayed a state of enthusiasm in undertaking any challenge which is evident in one of the dialogues he says. A boy comes close to him and tells to him that if he was the person, he would never accept the deal of fighting against a hulk. But the reply Achilles gave makes him one of a kind. He proclaims the one line as ‘that’s why your name wouldn’t be remembered anywhere down the generations’.

He always kept a state of emotional stability unless otherwise he was forced to withdraw from it. Patroclus and Achilles were best buddies right from the times they met. But there occurred a conflict between Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks and Achilles on an issue and he refused to fight. Being his friend and for the sake of their nation, Patroclus disguised as Achilles went in the war and fought like him. He was apparently killed by Hector. Achilles knowing the truth couldn’t help himself calm down and his rage is shown and even featured in many of the books. He slayed Hector and dragged his body till house and didn’t give it back for proper funeral ceremonies.

  • Task Related Personality Trait Theory- They are the traits that characterise people based on different tasks undertaken.
  • Emotional Intelligence – The ability of identifying, assessing, managing and controlling the emotions.
  • Locus of control- It refers to the extent in which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them both externally and internally.
  • Passion for work and people- The interest and inspiration to work with people and bring out positive outcomes.
  • Adaptability- The ability to be flexible enough to work under any circumstances and situations.
  • Integrity- The totality of a person of being unique and distinct from a crowd.

The factor of emotional intelligence always didn’t work out for Achilles. At the time when he came face to face in total rage to slay Hector, Achilles didn’t even have the minimum patience as to listen what he had to say.

Achilles always sustained an internal locus of control to judge and tackle any situation that emerged. He had the right proportion of passion to mix work and people to an effort. Thus is he mentioned as an integral person who could adapt to any circumstances and different kinds of diversity’s.

Contigency Theory- The theory claims that there is no better alternative to lead an organisation without putting into practice the internal and external situations in the forefront. It mainly emphasises on the relationship of the followers with the leader.

Achilles always maintained an internal locus of control to make an ultimate final decision and followed the external locus of control to adjust and adapt to the situations. He constantly checked into the leader member relations for conserving the task structure and hold the positional power. He had the style, traits and behaviour approach to make his followers follow him and his followers had the optimum frequency of maturity and cohesion to build the environment and dare to the hidden risks.

Achilles adopted the Autocratic approach to centralise authority and derived power from position, control of rewards and coercion. He had the attitude to command and rule his followers for a common benefit. His method of fight was being invisible and proceeding from the midst of a crowd. He stood in the front with his followers in the back like a drop formation. Then they aligned together to fight from all the sides together perishing the enemies to death.

Fiedler’s Contigency Theory- The theory relates the different leadership styles to the organisation.

The leadership style complied by Achilles was a highly task oriented and less relationship oriented. He was very particular in the success of a mission undertaken and give his best to it.

Path Goal Theory- It relates to the leader in directing his followers in choosing the right path for arriving at the concerned goal.

Achilles primarily clarified those areas of path and the hidden targets that are to be incorporated in their kind of attack and gave enough and more rewards to the deserved. He adopted supportive and participative styles of leadership to bring up those followers who lacked self confidence and encourage the introverts inside the group to come up and give their best shot.

Vroom Jago Contigency Theory- The theory mentions the various degrees of participatory styles confirmed to the bringing up of an organisation and relates which level influences the quality and a decision’s answerability.

Achilles adopted the safe side of involving the participation of each of his co-worker to bring out his maximum during a mission. Thus an overall contribution of the different individuals together making a team, made him a good team player and a good team builder.

Power and Influence

Achilles can be attributed below personal sources of power. He derived his power from the knowledge attained by him right from childhood and the effort put up to challenge anyone who stood against him. He persuaded people to go for the desired and gained expertise through practice and in depth experiences.

Achilles followed a structural leader frame of reference. He considered his group as a machine and devised ample plans and goals. The emphasis was on efficiency and formal authority. He always looked upon goal achievements, setting up of standards and followed policies. He was rigid in his decisions and maintained power and influence within the group.


Achilles implemented various innovative and progressive strategies in his method of facing enemies. He resolved every step that was totally new and unknown in the past wars. He adopted a specific style in his fighting skills of coming through the crowd in an invisible manner. The enemies got to know about him only when he stood in front. The style of his approach encouraged much of the younger generation of his time. Thus he could be associated as a strategic leader as he was a determined man with selected vision, mission and strategies.

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According to me, he could be categorised as the personalised charismatic leader as majority of the wars he dealt was for the sake of his personal interest. He could also be a transformational leader in the sense he operated at a higher pace than the morale of his followers. He had the ethics of reframing the issues so as to align with the leader’s attributes and the follower’s values. He transformed people by creating awareness, by making people understand the need for change, committing for greatness and by adoption of the long term perspectives. He can further be subcategorised as a charismatic transformational leader due to his clear statement of vision and sense of mission. Due to his diversity in creative thinking and effective problem solving capabilities, he had the extreme ability of intellectual simulation too.

As per the Ohio studies, Achilles can be classified as a person inclining more to undertake initiations and orient his subordinates for a common goal than being sensitive to them in respecting their ideas, feelings and creation of mutual trust.

Achilles was very conceptual, inventive and invariably foresaw possibilities beyond limits. He displayed a feeling of constant enthusiasm and fresh ideas emerged in him instantaneously. Thus he could be categorised as NT (Intuition Thinking) under the Jung’s Personality Matrix.

The Michigan studies revealed him to be more job-centred than being employee-centred since Achilles always directed his activities towards efficiency and scheduled each and every step for the attainment of a predetermined goal.

Achilles can be debated under the Myer’s Briggs four bi-polar dimensions. He was too much concerned about the social and physical environment making him an excellent example of extroversion. He always was calculating and engaged his mind to think something novel and different. So he could be put under thinking field. He was never a victim of intuition, but every time sensed a danger that awaited soon and acted to resolve it immediately. He made fair judgements quickly and rewarded those who rightly deserved it.

The Greek hero was a best instance of critical thinking. He incessantly remained independent in formulating a decision and received applauds for any measure undertaken. Achilles can be distinguished as an effective follower who unremittingly was active and was free from external constraints.

The internal and external force’s that causes enthusiasm and persistence in a person to achieve a particular course of action is addressed as motivation. Achilles can be listed under the Expectancy Theory of Motivation as the amount of effort put forward was solely dependent on the expected results. He could also be associated to McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory as the whole struggles he undertook was for the need of affiliation, power and achievement.

He employed strict methods of communication standards to make his followers understand and act to the current situation. He found it effective to stand face to face and convey important matters.

Achilles always deployed functional teams where groups were ordered based on classified activities and the leader held a vertical command. He devised both team effectiveness and team cohesiveness in filtering out the teams. He constantly exhibited a task specialist behaviour pattern giving greater concerns for work force diversity and maintaining a definite group culture.


Achilles is not remembered as one of the best leaders who lived in the world but he surely made an impact on his followers that makes him remembered till today. He was a personal master who had a clear idea of creative vision. A major portion of the population criticise him of not being a good leader who stabilises all the parameters of leadership. In the debates between Hector and Achilles being a better leader, Hector always won the toss as he was noble, loyal and good hearted apart from Achilles who was always ruled by his passions.

Servant, ethical and moral leaders usually attracts the attention of people due to their good deeds and characteristics. But people like Achilles created a difference in his series of followership. He knew what he wanted and strived hard to attain it. Achilles is hence remembered for his strength, valour and ability to sustain any challenges as a leader with a true cause.


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