This is my first attempt at an AWA prompt. How did I do?

The quality of being an effective leader is not a trait which can be based on whether or not one sticks to his or her principles or, rather, yields to public opinion. Rather, as an effective leader, one must be able to understand, based on thoughtful analysis and foresight, which avenue is best suited to the issue at hand. Leaders must be able to differentiate between the use of each tactic, as each has its own merits, as well as consequences. Situations are multifaceted, and it would be unwise for a leader to restrict their abilities by simply sticking to only one of these routes of leadership.
In order to be an effective leader, it is vital that those being led hold a level of respect for their figurehead. Throughout history, leaders who have stuck firm to their principles seem to gain such respect. Men such as Lincoln, Churchill, and Toussaint, have been remembered for their unwavering fortitude in the maintaining of their principles in order to reach a goal. In each of these examples, these men stuck true to their beliefs and achieved their sought after goal which benefitted the public. Yet, it would be unwise to discern that the public stuck by their sides throughout their leadership. However, these men were able to discern that their principles, though considered unpopular by many of the populace, would lead to a future which would be more beneficial. In the case of Lincoln, though the war was unpopular, it led to the reunification of the state. Churchill’s policies, while seemingly brash to many, helped Great Britain ward of the Nazis. Toussaint, wholly focused on abolition and freedom for all, though countered by many dissident views, was able to lead the first successful slave result leading to a populace of freedman on the island of Haiti. In these case, had these leaders wavered on their principles and gave in to public pressure, the populace would have suffered in the long-term. In this aspect, it must be recognized that in order to be an effective leader, one must be able to stick to principle, even when countered, in order to seek a goal that will have resounding positive effects. While these actions may be perceived as unpopular by the general public, these men were respected in their steadfastness as it gave them the legitimacy to continue to lead. While respect is maintained, the public will continue to accept one’s leadership even if it is not particularly popular.
Though, it must be understood, that this approach is not always applicable in every given situation. While steadfastness to principles as shown in the examples above certainly gains respect, a leader must known when such steadfastness devolves into stubbornness. It is at this critical point that respect by the populace becomes lost. When it becomes clear to a leader that his or her principles are negatively impacting both the goal at hand as well as the populace, they must be able to admit this. Furthermore, in these situations, the leader must be able to understand the point of view of the public and take into account their demands. While this does not mean completely following the opinion of the public, it does mean readjusting their leadership strategy in order to recenter policy on the goal at hand. While sticking to one’s principles provides the opportunities for positive development, it also presents the pitfall of developing a sense of stubborness. This development can become cancerous in that it destroys the respect held by the public while also negatively affecting the goal at hand. Thus, as a leader one must understand when it is more beneficial to compromise with public opinion when it becomes more beneficial to the group as a whole.
Thus, as an effective leader, one must be able to discern situations and conclude which approach is better. Certainly, a leader should always stick to their principles as long improvement can be ascertained from them. The populace will always respect this, especially when it is for the greater good. It is only in grave situations in which a leaders principles begin to negatively effect the group as a whole and hinder goals that a leader must step back and accept that it is more beneficial to compromise with the group in order to achieve the goal. This ability to differentiate is what makes a good leader.

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Hi @Randal_West, this feels like a strong essay that could score a 5.0+ with just a few changes.

Here are a few main areas for improvement:

  • Write more! You’re getting close, but this is still a little short.
  • Add in more simple and filler words. This isn’t advice we give often, but your strong vocabulary might be holding you back a bit. If you stuff every sentence full of advanced words, it negatively impacts the essay’s readability.
  • Use more variety in sentence structure, including shorter sentences and fewer commas.

Nice work overall!