The world changes every day. People are born and people die everything and yet, life goes on. But in this everyday normal things of life, sometimes, people who have a different flair and ability to influence a whole lot of other people are born. These are some gems because of their sheer presence and charisma and whether or not these people use their talent for good things has always been a nature vs nurture debate. But the world has seen many great leaders in all the parts of the world but some of the leaders have had not only an influence on their own countries but on the world. Now of course, such a list is always subjective. We take into consideration here, only the fact that these few were great leaders and not whether for good or bad. The 15 greatest leaders of all time –
15. Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro is one of the two faces of the Cuban Revolution which started around the year 1953. He went on to become the President and the Prime Minister of Cuba in the years after the Cuban Revolution. He devised and put into action the entire Cuban Revolution during which he had to face many problems, crisis and also many attempts of assassination. His vision, courage and strategic analytic reasoning has gotten Cuba where it stands today. He has proved to be, over the years, a great leader and a great Commander.
14. Che Guevara
Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, better known as El Che or Che Guevara was an Argentine revolutionary who was, along with Castro, the main man of the Cuban Revolution. He was a trained doctor and a guerilla warfare leader. After finishing his education as a doctor, he took a trip across South America with his friend and it was on the trip that he thought of a revolution, having seen the sorry state of the people in every country. His compassion, charisma, and the love for doing good for others is what attracted so many people towards him. Today, he has become a symbol of rebellion and he right deserves to be so.
13. Alexander, The Great
Known as the Man Who Conquered The World, Alexander the Great is often said to be the greatest military leader of all time. He was born in 356 BC and by the age of 33, he had the largest empire in the history which stretched from Greece to Egypt to India. He was the king of the Kingdom of Macedonia and perhaps, he was the greatest military commander to have ever lived. He did the noble deed of unifying many Greek city states. He was undefeated in battle and succumbed to malaria and died in 323 BC. His fortes were his foresight, vision and military capabilities.
Another king from another kingdom who was given the title of ‘The Great’. Asoka the Great was the last of the great Indian empire of Maurya and he ruled from 269 BC. He too has great conquests and his empire was almost the entire Indian sub-continent. He was a kind and a good-hearted leader. After the bloody Kalinga War, he was so deeply moved and pained by the suffering that he denounced his throne and all his wealth and adopted Buddhism. Today, he is known as an important champion of Buddhism and he preached the values of Buddhism and the lesson from Buddha’s life to the people.
11. Winston Churchill
The most crucial and the most important time for a leader to show their true worth is in the face of adversity and Winston Churchill managed to shine at the task. He was the British Prime Minister and leader during the WW II. He was an able leader, an emotional man but his greatest victory was in his motivation for others to defend themselves against the Nazis. His determination, perseverance and the patriotic devotion towards the nation motivated the Britishers to go forward and win the war with the help of the Allies. ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’, he said, and won the war and the hearts.
10. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was a Roman military commander and a genius, to say the very least. He played a critical role in the death of a Roman Republic and the rise of the strong Roman Empire. He was not only quick and smart on the battlefield but he also devised great strategies and plan for the expansion of the empire and his political finesse, with the help of which he conquered almost all of Western Europe. His decisiveness, abilities to out-wit his opponents made it possible for him to gain a strong following. He was eventually assassinated by his friend Brutus. The famous Shakespearean tragedy ‘Julius Caesar’ is based on his life.
9. Franklin D Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt, also called FDR, was an American statesmen and a political leader who helped America during some of the worst years like The Great Depression. Roosevelt was afflicted with polio at the age of 29 and he was left paralyzed in both his legs. And yet, he went on to become the President in 1933 and he is the only President who was elected four consecutive times, till 1945, when he died. He also lead the America military into WW II and made America rise to power. His political knowledge, yearning to never stop are characteristics that every true leader longs to have.
8. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military leader who rose to power after the French Revolution which overthrew the monarchy. He was shrewd and cunning and a person who knew that bigger numbers did not always mean bigger strength. His small armies are known to have triumphed over larger armies. The Napoleonic Code of Legal Reforms which he formed is used till date in many places. His military leadership and the regard for the common man made him famous and he ruled and influenced France for many years.
7. George Washington
The Founding father of The United States Of America, George Washington, is till date one of the greatest leaders that we have ever seen. He led the American Revolution and later, led USA into the first few years of it’s independence as the First President of USA. He was a visionary and he had immense vision for America which has led America to become the super power it is today. His tenacity, steadfastness, his ability to make decisions during difficult times made him a great leader and he led many people to success.
6. Adolf Hitler
Now, many people will argue and disagree with the fact that a man like Hitler is called a great leader but we have to say that although his actions and deeds were not good but his leadership skills were matched only by few in the world. He became the chancellor of Germany in 1933, rising through the ranks and waged a great war. But his oratory skills, military expansions and economic growth plans are something whose credit we have to duly give him and him alone. Meticulous planning, propaganda and strategizing by Hitler has in some way, shaped the power politics of the world that we see even today.
5. Mao Zedong
We can see that some of the greatest leaders have spurted as the ones who leaded a change in a particular place. Mao Zedong, similarly, was the leader of the Chinese Revolution and the founder of People’s Republic of China, the China we see today. He withheld the Japanese invasion, kick-started the economy of China and helped it become the super-power it is today. His vision for China is what him and the people of China strived for. His ideologies and principles of governance and economics are now known as Maoism.
4. Abraham Lincoln
It takes a man with a vision to lead a country during it’s bad times. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of USA, led the country through the US Civil War. He strived hard and did his best to keep the people of the country together or else, today, America would have been many smaller countries instead of one big country. He signed the Emancipation Proclamation, thereby ending slavery in US. He heart ached for the ones for whom he could do not do anything. His conviction, humility, oratory skills made him one of the greatest leaders we have ever had.
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
It all started with a dream, like it always does. A dream for change and a dream for better tomorrow. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist and a leader in the civil rights movement of USA. He was also a member of the clergy. He is known for the non-violent ways in which he advanced and led the civil rights movement. He fought for racial equality and showed the people a picture of a better future where all men are equal. Courage, perseverance and the will to fight for whats right till the very end made him a great leader. He won The Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
2. Nelson Mandela
No one needs an introduction for this great man. Nelson Mandela was the first democratically elected President of South Africa. He was the leader and the face of the Anti- Apartheid movement and all through his life, he relentlessly fought against racial discrimination. For his actions, he served a long prison sentence but even that did not deter him. He came out as a hero and led the country into a free, equal future. His determination, focus and will-power were tremendous that even after serving almost 30 years in jail, he got out and worked again for what was right.
1. Mahatma Gandhi
Born an ordinary boy Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, he later became known as the Father of the Nation or ‘bapu’. Mahatma Gandhi led India against the tyrannical rule of the Britishers. He fought silently and practiced ahinsa or non-violence. He believed and truth and only truth shall prevail and without harming a single soul, he got freedom to India. Civil disobedience movements, boycotts of foreign goods etc is show he showed his resistance towards the British. Eventually, The British left India and Gandhi became the face of the nation. He is, without doubt, one of the greatest leaders to have ever walked the earth.