King Henry V Leadership

What relevance do you feel as a young person that your study or ‘Henry V’ could have on teaching our leaders of tomorrow about the qualities necessary to be a leader? In the midst of South Africans current leadership crisis young South Africans lack a great leader to look up to and learn from. The study of a Henry V and his character serves as a way of teaching these leaders of tomorrow about the qualities necessary to be a leader.

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Henry is ultimately an excellent leader whose oratory skills, ability to identify with the common man, morality and determination make him an ideal model of leadership for the youth of South Africa. Henry V possess excellent rhetorical skills, just as any great leader should, which he uses to inspire his men. Before the battle of Hurler he inspires his men to fight with determination and passion even when they are tired and weak. When his army are facing impossible odds before the battle of Contours he is able to uplift and inspire his men in his SST Crisping Day speech. For he that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother’. For one to be a successful leader one must be able to relate to the common citizen and have the respect of one’s people, qualities that Henry possesses. Before the battle of Contours, Henry disguises himself as a common soldier and moves through the camp quietly giving courage and confidence to his men. Henry is able to connect with the common soldiers in his army rather than being a remote and distant leader. He commands both loyalty and respect from his soldiers and people, ‘The King is a good King.

In a position of leadership Henrys qualities of social justice and morality are key. Henry is a man of social conscience and principle which is evident when he decides to kill his former friends who have betrayed him. Regardless of personal feelings, he acts in a fair and just manner, ‘Touching our person seek we no revenge’. His morality can be seen in his call for his men to behave in an acceptable way in war, ‘use mercy to them all’. Henry illustrates the need for a leader to be goal driven and determined in order to be successful.

Despite all the hardships the English face in the war, outnumbered 1:5, henrys dogged determination inspires his men and as a result England wins the war. ‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends! ‘ This play is an invaluable resource for the youth of South Africa who, with the current lack of leadership in South Africa, need a model off great leader to follow. Henry provides this model of leadership and tit it our future leaders can be exposed to the qualities necessary to be a successful and great leader.