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Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Starship Enterprise, is a good leader because of his ability to guide and direct his crew in such a way that protects the Federation from its enemies and inspires others to have similar goals. Every leader has their own unique characteristics and Picard is no different. He is able to utilize his crew members' talent's, ship's technology, and his own experiences to be the best leader he can be.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines a leader as one who guides or directs in a course that inspires the conduct of others. As well, a leader is one who makes decisions based his or her knowledge gained personally and from other sources. A leader is also aware of all the consequences of their actions and the ability of those that they lead. He must be a responsible and trust worthy person because of the many people who follow him and depend on him. Jean-Luc Picard has these qualities and uses them to the best of his ability to lead his crew on the Starship Enterprise.
In the episode "The Defector," Picard shows that he is a leader by making smart decisions and by giving direction to others. From the beginning, Picard is directing the android Data in a scene from Shakespeare's play Henry V , with the help of the halo deck. He is giving advice on how Data can act more as a human. He explains why King Henry has gone in disguise among his troops before the battle. Picard explains that it was to find out the state of the Kings army's morale and confidence (The Defector, Dec 30, 89) . Picard knows that it is important to know the confidence of his crew because it directly corresponds to him because he is like the king of the Enterprise. Later, in another encounter with Data, Picard asks him to make a record of the events before their possible war with the Romulans . The last thing he asks Data is, " How is the spirit of the crew ?", and as Data responds , "they are confident, why do you ask?" Picard responded by saying that, "It would be hard to disguise myself and walk among my crew like King Henry did" (The Defector, Dec 30, 89). This shows that Picard is generally concerned about his crew as any leader would be.
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Another event that shows Picards leadership was his ability to look ahead and weight all the possible outcomes. In this case, it was to take proper precautions to protect his crew. Knowing that war was a possible outcome, Picard uses his instinctual leadership knowledge . The instinctual knowledge that says you should investigate all the evidence before making any decision. Knowing that Setal was not giving him all the information that he required about the base at that time and the fact that his actions could possibly start a war, Picard then spoke in private with his security officer Warf ( The Defector, Dec 30, 89 ) .Warf, who is of a race called the Klingons, is asked to inquire about receiving assistance from the Klingon Empire. Picard wanted them to follow the Enterprise into the neutral zone if they had to destroy the illegal base of the Romulans. After sending a probe to Nelvana 3 and finding very little, Picard confronts Setal, who has changed his identity to Admiral Jarroc. He asks Jarroc for more information or he would do nothing. Jarroc responds ," I have a daughter and my defection must not be in vain." Jarroc then gives all needed information to Picard. Picard has no choice except to go into the natural zone and destroy the romulan base. While at Nelvana 3, Picard and his crew discover no existence of a base and as they turn around , a romulan ship starts to attack them. The Romulans had lied to Jarroc to test his loyalty and had set up Picard and the Enterprise. This is where Picards decision to have the Klingons follow them came in hand. The Klingons uncloaked their ships and scared off the Romulans (The Defector, Dec 30, 89). This wise decision turned out to save the life of thousands and even stop the possible war from ever happening. This shows that Picard is a leader of great knowledge by weighing all the pros and cons of a situation and acting accordingly. This also shows how Picard can use his knowledge of leadership not to do anything outrageous and endangering his crew.
With such great obstacles to over come and unexpected events occurring, it is obvious see that Picard actions are that of a good leader. He shows that he can make wise decisions by checking all leads and investigating all angles of a problem. He knows where his resources are and how to access them. He is always looking for the overall best decision that will be in the best interest of the others in his command. It was obvious to see how others looked up to him with respect and inspiration such as Data did in the opening scene. With such skills it is easy to see how Picard is a good leader.
Some might say that Picard is not a good leader because of his compassion for life and that he takes to many risks. A leader must have some compassion or he would never understand the different feelings and emotions of his crew and with other people. Even though Picard has no kids he understands how Jarroc feels about his daughter and his request to strive for peace. Some might say that he puts his crew in too many risky situations such as crossing the neutral zone with the little proof that he had. You must see that he was trying to stop a more dreaded outcome such as a war. He also brought help with him in the Klingons. That was smart and not a risky move on Picards part. Picard, in general, is a smart leader with lots experience which allows him to make the right decisions. He has confidence in his decisions and in his crew. Still though, he knows that he is a captain in the Federation and that tragedy is a fact of life. He is still human enough to hope that, " if they don't die well, it will be a black matter for the king who led them to it" ( Henry V, Shakespeare ). This was a quote that Picard made which meant that if his crew does not die in honor , it would be a wasted cause and be a bad decision by Picard that shows his overall knowledge of leadership. That quote by Picard exemplifies why he is a good leader and why he inspires others to follow him where no one has gone before.
Henry V , http://the-tech.mit.edu/shakespeare. Henry V, Feb 4, 96
Lynch.Tinothy,"Synopsis and Reviews of The Defector ", Star Treck web site, http://www.star trek.com. The Defector , Feb 4, 96
"The Defector", Preformers; Stewart, Patrick; Franks, Jonathan; Dorn,Micheal; Spiner, Brent ;Star Trek the Next Generation, December 30, 1989
Websters New World Dictionary, Neufeldt, Victoria ; editor copywrite 1990 by Simom &Schuster, INC.