I always find Voldemort to be a rather interesting character.
Despite his deep passion for radical eugenics and world domination, Voldemort was an excellent leader. He banded many witches and wizards together to follow a pretty disgusting cause that would serve nobody but himself. And that’s pretty impressive if you asked me. Besides, he was gone for decades before finally returned as the feared Dark Lord, and yet some of his followers are still loyal. And that is a mighty feat.
Here is what i believe why he is a pretty good leader in his own right, albeit an evil one at that.
1. He never gave up.
You-Know-Who was probably the most persistent character ever. He didn’t let a little roadblock (like almost dying and then losing his physical body, rendering him a mere spirit-like thing forced to live underneath a neurotic professor’s turban or any other animal whom he could convince to share their body) get in his way of trying to dominate the world.
2. He always had a back-up plan.
Somebody tried to kill him? No worries, he’s got a Horcruxes, seven of them and not counting Harry Potter himself. Somebody destroyed that Horcrux? No worries, his back-up plans have backup plans like extra-ordinary protection which prove to be fatal even to the likes of Dumbledore.
3. He utilized a team.
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knew very well that he needed a team. After all, one Dark Lord can’t abolish all Muggle-borns on his own, you know?
If you have a big dream, you’re going to need a dream team. Get yourself some Death Eaters of your own – that is, some like-minded people who are as passionate about your dream as you are. Except maybe treat them a little better than he does. Give them some encouragement and don’t threaten to kill their families or anything.
Though in Voldemort’s defense, he did enjoy giving the occasional awkward hug to show his affections. Just ask Draco.
4. He delegated.
Some people develop a team, but then insist on doing everything themselves. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knew that in order to maintain his fearful status, he needs to delegate tasks to other members of the team. After all, that’s what a team is for.
However, having a few tasks in particular that you keep close to your heart is totally normal.
5. He was an excellent planner.
Voldemort was an impressive planner. That whole Triwizard Tournament thing? Wow.
After all, if Voldemort just walk into Hogwarts (never mind the fact that he technically couldn’t have, not having a body and all), he would not have become the grand death-defying dude he did.
In order to be a good leader, you need to meet with your team and strategize. Come up with a good plan, months, even years ahead, and make it known that you are fierce and have got all your wits about you.
6. He dreamed big.
Whenever you’re trying to lead your team to victory, and you start to feel like your end goal is impossible, just remember that you’re not aiming to rid the human race of all Muggle blood while ruling the world under your fierce, unwavering tyranny. Your goal will start to feel a whole lot more attainable.
7. He had conviction…and a lot of it.
“It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”
We all know that Remus Lupin was the one to say that (and he was directly talking about You-Know-Who himself), but let’s be real here: if Voldemort wasn’t full of conviction, I don’t know who is. Even Dumbledore had a lot of self-doubt hidden under that beautiful white beard of his. Voldemort, on the other hand, believed every word he said – and his conviction certainly convinced quite a few folks.
As a leader, you have to believe in what you say. You have to truly know you’re capable, with all of your dark, decrepit heart.
8. He presented himself well.
Voldemort was a pretty great public speaker. He possessed quite a bit of charisma, which he was well known for as a youth at Hogwarts. It was that charisma that helped him to gather such a loyal following of evil, terrible, mostly-Slytherin minions.
Conviction goes hand in hand with good presentation. To be a good leader, you’ve got to look and act the part. And when I say “look,” I don’t at all mean you need to adhere to any ridiculous body standards. After all, if you have a nose, you already one-upped The Dark Lord. Congratulations.
9. He had his own style.
Voldemort had his own personal brand that never wavered. It generally had to do with dark colors and skulls and snakes; not exactly my thing, but hey, it worked for him (well, up to a point), and it kept his team unified. I don’t think the Death Eaters would have continued to support him so strongly if he suddenly exchanged their hooded cloaks with fedoras and plaid flannel shirts.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Find out your own leadership style, and own it.
10. He was creative.
Tom Marvolo Riddle. I Am Lord Voldemort. Creativity at its creepiest.
Let’s also not forget the interesting ways he managed to survive multiple times, i.e. unicorn blood and turbans.
To be a successful leader, you have to think outside the cupboard under the stairs. Obstacles will come, and it may not seem like there is a way around them, but there will be a solution, sure as Dumbledore’s love for socks.
Muhamad Aarif is the founder & CEO of Personalgrowth.blog and Warby.Parker.Watch. He is an international watch reseller, and author dedicated to boosting personal growth.