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Leadership is considered to be both a learned skill and a developed art. Of many definitions, perhaps the most accurate is that leadership is the art and science of influence and directing people to accomplish an assigned task. By examining the definition, it is plain to see that leadership is not necessarily taught, though formal education cannot hurt, but instead it is a skill that can be improved upon given time and effort. It incorporates the ability to influence others and is best put into practice when a common objective is identified. It is a subject most have a familiarity with but few, if any, completely understand and let alone master.

Anybody who desires to have a successful business, have aspirations to hold public offices or roles, have goals to climb the military ranks, or who yearns to have success while holding any position of power within an organization must be versed in the arts of leadership. In fact, the essential key to enjoying success as a team or organization is the ability to lead others to succeed. A person in a position of power or that of a leader has the job to inspire others to do better work and be more productive by performing for them when they don’t have to, or in some more structured cases not just because they have to.

It is important to keep in mind that just as cultures and races vary, so do the applications of leadership. In fact, a common misconception is that leadership itself is a subjective skill to learn. Rather than this, it is the way the skill is used, or the application of acquired leadership skills that is subjective between races, situations, and the various cultures found within Mizahar. A leader in the mind of an Isur may not look the same as a leader in the eyes of an Akalak or any other race.


There are no skills which leadership directly depends on. However those versed in the arts of Seduction could have an advantage when attempting to influence how another person behaves. Most importantly, the requirements to learn leadership are those competencies that any person can achieve to varying levels depending on their demeanor and self-improvement. In other words, no formal teaching is required at all as the best way to learn about leadership is through varying experiences, but those who have access to mentors or other role models may learn some of the intricacies quicker than others at each of the levels of leadership.

Self-discipline is a major factor when honing leadership abilities. As is the case with many skills, those who are not disciplined will not bother to put forth the time and effort required to develop their leadership competencies. Followers of Wysar, the God of Integrity, Conviction, and Discipline, pursue the traits any great leader embodies. A person also needs to have a conviction to learn about themselves, those that surround them, and the dynamics involved when those two entities come together. Hence, one would imagine that the Akalak would have a half-leg up on the foundations of leadership but outside of Riverfall, they would need great control over their dual personalities to maintain a position of leadership. A commitment to better one’s self while developing and working with others is essential to becoming knowledgeable and effective using the skills leadership will teach.

Additionally, having been exposed to other leaders and role models can certainly help by giving you positive and negative examples of what effective and ineffective leaders can accomplish. For instance while growing up, many Myrian see their mothers and other women within the family as leaders and strive to take after them by example. Others may see their city rulers using either effective or ineffective leadership skills. Essentially, any life experience from observing others, participating in groups or teams, and self-development can improve the ability and the rate at which somebody can learn about leadership. By looking around at role models and clan leaders and observing how they react to situations and come to make decisions, anybody can learn a great deal about the art of leadership.

Related Skills

Many skills can relate to leadership and enhance the effectiveness of learning the skill. In fact, learning about leadership alone will most likely not make anybody the leader of a company or the military unless that person uses their resources quite wisely and fools a few others along the way. Some skills that people may want to couple with leadership to improve their profession or be able to lead their own organization are listed here:

  • Blacksmithing or Weaponsmithing are skills the owner of a smithing company may need to be proficient in along with leadership to operate the most efficient company with productive workers.
  • Architecture and Carpentry may be what the owner or leader of a construction company excel in while using leadership to get the most out of the business.
  • Politics and Rhetoric are even more powerful skills for aspiring politicians when used in conjunction with leadership skills.
  • Agriculture and Farming along with leadership would be a great skill set for one spearheading the agriculture industry.

As you can see, it is important to balance leadership skills with the expertise of the organization or team a person desires to lead- a truth that even Loren Dyres should take heed of! For instance, it becomes much more difficult to lead by example if your example is not good enough to be followed! Leadership relies heavily on developing the entire person as opposed to only focusing on a single trait or aspect of one's life.

Another subject relating to leadership and found rampant throughout Mizahar is religion. Many deities have champions who have received multiple gnosis marks and other followers look up to or attempt to emulate their chosen paths in life. Also, there are entire organizations inspired by or devoted to a god, such as the Suviak in Mura who follow Ivak and provide a service to the Konti Isle. These groups either find their god, in this case Ivak, as their leader, or they have leaders within the organizations which set goals and drive the members to perform their duties. In this way, some leaders found throughout the land are spiritual leaders and balance their skills with their devotion to the divine.

Skill progression

Novice (1-25)
Those just beginning to understand and learn about the art of leadership will understand that anybody can be a leader. You begin by understanding yourself and your own character and realizing that you can influence and motivate others. It is essential that when starting to learn about leadership that you grasp the concept of followership and understand that even when not in a position of power, you can sill influence and motivate those around you, subordinate to you, and even those above you. It is important at this point to note that there are may ways to channel motivation. Providing rewards, pay, or companionship could motivate some while others may require a path making use of fear and intimidation in order to "motivate" their actions. Regardless of the method of motivation, the tool is essential for young leaders to build upon.

At this point, the novice leader should focus on themselves and improving their own values such as integrity, loyalty, having a positive attitude, and using sound judgment while thinking before taking action. The honest and loyal leader, such as Pressorah Bashti of the Eypharians, can win the hearts of those they lead. A good attitude and making sound decisions allows those they lead to understand their leader is a good person with their best interests in mind. As a novice, the easiest way to lead and one of the first things you should do when starting to learn the skill is to lead by example and demonstrate these characteristics. If you want others to do something, lead them by doing it for them or with them and they will be much likely to follow you to accomplish the task or mission.

It is the novice leader who can emerge from a small group of relatively like-minded individuals and create at least a relatively organized team. This person could convince those around them to reach within themselves and execute whatever actions they need to follow a goal of theirs. Some individuals or small groups of people simply need a kick start to get on their way and a novice leader is just the person for that task.

Competent (26-50)
A more competent leader will have a better understanding of influencing others. They will realize that every person already influences other people around them and they will finally start to grasp who it is that they influence already and to what degree their influence can stretch. Part of understanding your influence involves negotiating with people and sometimes includes coercing them to do as you desire. Increasing your experiences with groups of people will augment your understanding of the ability to influence those around you. Building upon those skills a novice leader possesses, a competent leader can even influence those who have opposing views to at least do their part or take action in whatever capacity the leader tries.

A person cannot be a leader without anybody to lead, however. And though the first person anybody should lead is themselves, a more competent leader will start to understand the arts of fostering teamwork and effective collaboration. They will begin to understand the dynamics of a group or team and the development stages they all go through. These stages are forming (the initial polite and no confronting attitudes), storming (when the people are more comfortable and vie to get their voice heard and criticize others), norming (when the team finally gets to understand each other and can cooperate among the other members), and finally performing (the final stage when a group can effectively and smoothly accomplish their task). Your average merchant with a few people working for them or a clan member moving up the hierarchy would possess these competent skills.

One important thing to keep in mind with any group or team is that without a common goal there would be no team! So a competent leader will learn how to set good goals for a team that are measurable (so you can track progress) and realistic (so they can be met). King Sultros of the Isurians, a timely leader for their race, ensured his entire race was working towards the same goal in order to achieve what they desired. But be mindful that the one thing that can demoralize a group the fastest is when goals are tirelessly worked towards but never met. Without rewards for their actions, people tend to become disinterested and much less productive, hardly giving you the production you want from them. A competent leader may not quite have the skills to set goals for an entire race or even a whole city, but small villages and other small groups could benefit from the knowledge they possess.

Expert (51-75)
If a person becomes an expert in the art of leadership, they already have an understanding of how people work together in a team and how to motivate and influence those people. But to hone those abilities and seriously get to know how the people they work with think and operate, a leader needs to understand the different styles of leadership and how and when to employ them. The four basic styles of leadership are directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating. Each person and every race responds differently to the different styles.

To further explain these leadership styles, we will follow the progress of a person hired by a ship captain. Keep in mind, though, that these styles can be employed within any team or organization. A new deck hand will need to be directed on how to carry out the daily chores on board the ship and they will need to be watched closely for a while to ensure they are doing things the right way so nothing will need to be reworked. They have a lot of motivation and enthusiasm but they just do not know where to direct it yet!

After the deck hand has been around for a while and has learned the skills needed to feel comfortable on board, they will need coaching on how to perfect those skills and will require more motivation than when they first started their job. The ship has lost the new, exciting feeling and the help may become more complacent while performing those mundane tasks like cleaning the deck and rigging sails, but they are still not experts at what they are doing yet they require less supervision while performing those duties.

Once the employee understands how the ship operates and has perfected their trade skills, the leader will need to take on more of a supporting role. They will need to encourage them to be innovative and come up with new ideas or easier ways to operate while motivating them to do even better work. These employees can be trusted, but the leader needs to push them further to continue to grow and be of more use for the rest of the crew and for the captain.

Finally, the leader is able to delegate tasks to this deck hand without any supervision. These people typically become mates with more responsibilities or take on other more important roles and require less time from their leader in order to do the right thing. In some cases, these individuals will be completely in charge of an entire aspect of operating the ship and will only have to keep the captain updated on how things are going.

Of course anybody working underneath a leader will go through this process with just about every new task they are assigned to. It is an expert leader who truly understands where in the process a person is and employs the correct leadership style to get the most production out of that person. Leaders at this level will come to realize that 80% of their time is spent on 20% of the people or 20% of the goals set for a group. This ratio is due to the fact that those who drain your attention are either the very worst or very best in your organization and you need to deal with them accordingly or develop them appropriately.

Expert leaders are able to sway a large group of people to follow them in many circumstances. Even those who are generally opposed to what the leader stands for can be convinced to do as they bid. This level of leadership is conducive to those wishing to bring their trade to a larger, regional level or affect public opinion to the point that councils and governments may make certain concessions for the people. These leaders, when in combat situations, can convince larger groups to carry out a task that some individuals may be hesitant about doing but still press on because they will do it for their leader.

Master (76-100)
Once a person has reached the master level in the art of leadership, they understand how a group or team grows and develops, how people in different situations operate and which leadership styles to use with them, how their own character and values influence people and to what extent it happens, and they grasp the importance of developing everybody surrounding them. It is imperative to share your knowledge with others and constantly push people to develop themselves. From the grunt that only does physical intensive but mind numbing work to the second in charge of the organization, everybody must continually work on themselves for personal growth and must be aware of the leader’s intentions. In order to most effectively share the intentions of a leader, every group or team should have clearly stated visions and missions.

Visions of an organization are statements that include the values everybody within the group shares or should share, what the purpose of the group’s existence is, and what goals are commonly pursued. The vision of the group should be a guiding force in all decisions that need to be made on how the team operates or should proceed.

Mission statements within a group should define what exactly they do, how they accomplish their goals or tasks, and should provide a more acute focus for every member within the team. Where there would be only one vision, several mission statements are used to define the roles each person plays within a larger team. By having that organization, a group can accomplish the more lofty goals set forth by their leaders.

At this level of leadership, a person is able to strategically manage all aspects of any sized group from a small task force to an entire army. Those who attain the knowledge and experiences which serve to develop these skills typically find themselves in the annals of history as leaders of their cities or regions or even races, such as Serifal Drykas and his sons. They alter the direction in which entire cities grow and can sway anybody within their race to follow them and support them regardless of their intentions. They are the battlefield leaders who develop strategies effective enough to protect their race or impose their desires upon those surrounding them. Remember, though, that these feats cannot be accomplished by pure leadership alone and that other skills need to be developed in conjunction with leadership to become truly among the best of a particular profession.