What Makes a Great Leader ?
Something to ponder; what qualities make for a great leader of vampires, either as a clan leader, or as one who leads and forms opinion and events in the city, and has admirers without having a clan base ?
It seems to me that there are a number of qualities which are required.
First, love them or hate them, people must know what a vampire stands for. Lucius is known for his razor-sharp intellect and acid wit. Capadocious is known for his incredible stamina and ability to rebuild his clan repeatedly after setbacks which would make less resilient vampires give up and walk into the sun. Heimdag is known for his family bonds, and deep, long term scheming. Think of all the great names, and you’ll probably have a picture in your mind of what they represent.
Then, each great leader must have an ability with words. Whether those words are refined or blunt doesn’t matter; when they speak, people sit up and take notice. More often than not, those words spark strong reactions, favourable or otherwise. In speaking, these leaders polarise opinion in the city. People take sides based on the debates (and outright slanging matches) they initiate.
Sheer ability to survive is another characteristic. It takes time to garner the experience and contacts needed to become a mover and shaker. So often, we see promising young vampires push themselves forward as great leaders. They burn brightly for a month or two, and then fade out as if they have never existed. But the great leaders just seem to always be there. If they drop out of sight for a while, they are still remembered, and it makes a stir when they reappear. Just look at EvilBill as an example of this; he reappears after an absence, and no-one says ‘who is he ?’, instead every warring clan in the city is making assessments of how his presence will affect the balance of power.
But to me, the truly great shapers of opinion have this one thing in common; they realise that leadership is a duty. They understand that those who follow them (whether within a formal clan structure or not) are volunteers, and must be respected and cared for. This doesn’t mean that ruthlessness isn’t required if a follower shows disloyalty or disrespect. But these leaders know on an instinctive level that they must do more than just strut around lording it over those who look up to them. Their every action must be an inspiration to those around them. Those younger vampires who hunger for power without responsibility would do well to learn this lesson if they are to survive the test of time and in their turn grow into the leaders of the future.
I would certainly say that you have a good grasp of what makes a great leader JDV. You could have saved yourself some time by just saying “See Capadocious” but I guess there are styles of leadership which I do not embrace. You sir are a fine leader in your own right. I enjoyed the times we have shared plotting and scheming together, working out the details required to accomplish our mutual goals. I hope in the future there are more opportunities for the two of us to cooperate once again.
~Capadocious Lord of the Capadocians Prince of RavenBlack City Beloved companion of AQD