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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

Write An Outstanding Leadership Essay in 5 Steps (with Example)

In every year that millions of students apply for colleges, at least one of the colleges does happen to require a leadership essay. There are some inklings of leadership inside of you despite the fact that you may never lead a rebellion, served as a manager or fought for injustice. You are not alone, even Daenerys Targaryen, one of the supreme fictional leaders at first didn’t think she was much of a leader too. You can also break the chains and become a mother of dragons and the master of essays making a point of leadership essay which is to bring out these qualities for you and your readers. It's, therefore, time for you to start seeing yourself in a new light and stop looking up to other people for a while. To further convince you that you are bound to write a leadership essay that can lead the other pack of applications, I will guide you to dig deeper into the skill.

What is a Leadership Essay?

The purpose of a leadership essay is to seek two things, i.e., to show how you are a leader and to define leadership. You can list and exemplify the characteristics of successful leaders and express to your readers how you can adapt to these traits. Unlike the essays that you are used to writing in class, leadership essays, in general, tend to differ. They focus on your qualities instead of literary devices, literature or authors. When applying for a scholarship or to university, chances are that this will probably be the first and possibly only time that you will encounter a leadership essay. Granted that you lack practice when it comes to these types of essays, it may then seem unfair. That is why we are here to guide you on how to write your leadership essay.

Elements to Put Into Consideration When Writing a Leadership Essay

You may think that you are now ready to write a leadership essay since you have a rough idea but not entirely! For you to really wow your readers, you should bear in mind that a few things that we will review. These elements are essential as they will help you to find inspiration and stay on track:

Leadership Essays are Different from Other Essays

Although they can, they don’t adhere to the five paragraph format. They are more like a story since they are a bit more informal. For each leadership skill listed, you can use a differing example, or you can do so by using a story to explain. It should all flow together logically regardless of whichever method that you may have used.

Be Honest

The point of a leadership essay is to open up more about yourself to the admissions faculty. You should never lie about your accomplishments or who you are as much as you may get creative in your essay. Ideas will naturally start to flow once you reach the brainstorming stage in case you feel like you’ve not had any accomplishments.

Write about Yourself

This is not a hero essay or similar to it. This is a common misinterpretation among students when they hear the word leadership. Leadership essays are all about you, unlike hero essays which focus on other people.

Refrain from Listing Leadership Skills You Don’t Plan To Explain Later

You cannot use the definition you find in a dictionary to define your interpretation of leadership. The leadership skills that you possess should be the ones that you focus on. List those skills and explain them later in your essay.

You Can Write in First Person

It is okay to write using first person because it makes it personal. You are talking about yourself here; this is not academic writing.

Exceptional Steps to Writing a Leadership Essay

You can get started as soon as possible with the below details on how to write a leadership essay:

1. Brainstorm

What are some of the leadership characteristics that you have? You should know this before thinking of the structure of your leadership essay or the specifics. For you to identify your leadership characteristics, you should use Brainstorming techniques which are perfect in these areas. Have you been in any leadership situation? Any position within a school club, the leader of a group project, maybe you’ve been a leader for your siblings or a sports team; think of any scenario that may illustrate the skills. As long as you worked with other people, a leadership experience can be turned from anything. Bear in mind that this does not mean that you should be anybody’s superior. Here is an example, if Daenerys was writing a leadership essay about herself. The following traits would be included in her brainstorming:
  • Just
  • Loyal
  • Kind but harsh if need be
  • Fearless
  • Stand up for my beliefs
If you still have trouble with coming up with a list, you can you can use example essays and see what other students said about their leadership.

2. Outline

Now that you have an idea of some of the leadership qualities that you possess, you can soon begin to create your essay's structure and organize them. Which method are you planning to use? Will you give several different examples or you will stick to a story? Whichever one that you pick, you should remember that your leadership essay should have an introduction, body paragraphs and lastly a conclusion. What you do with the body paragraphs is what will be the primary difference. For Daenerys’ outline, it may look a bit like this:
  1. Introduction
    1. Thesis statement
    2. Hook
  2. Freeing the Unsullied
    1. Vow to free slaves from everywhere they were killed or punished.
    2. Believe in what I stand for.
  3. From the house of the Undying, liberate the baby dragons
    1. To rescue dragons and distractions such as Drogo hallucinations and the Iron Throne should be ignored.
    2. Determination and fearlessness.
  4. Seized control of the Dothraki people
    1. For the second time, rose from the ashes unburnt and killed leaders who were talking about bringing harm to me.
    2. When needed, I was stern but otherwise, where possible, used diplomacy.
  5. Conclusion

3. Write Your Introduction

Under the introduction section from the outline above, you will notice that I have a thesis statement and a hook. For you to make your readers want to keep reading, you can use a hook as a way to capture their attention. The admissions staff, unlike your teacher who has to go through everything, don’t have to if they don’t want to. To utterly draw them to your essay, nail your introduction to hook them from the start. You can begin your essay with the climax of your story which is among the best ways to write a hook. Your readers will be curious to know how you got to that point as they will be able to see the excitement of your essay. You can set up your story explicitly from the beginning or use other types of hooks such as inducing of quotes in your essay. On the other hand, a thesis statement lets the readers know what your leadership essay is all about. Your leadership essay in this context will be in a mini-outline. Other essays aside, you can be more creative here. For you to completely feel what is right, you can afford to play around with it. This is how Daenerys may write her introduction: I thought this was what I was born to do once I stepped out of the burning hut. All the way to the Iron Throne, I lead the Dothraki across oceans. This is where I would be the leader of the Seven Kingdoms and take my rightful place. I have acquired the traits of a great leader which are determination, courage, have loyalty to my subjects, and the sense to know when to punish and forgive all these in the face of adversity in my raise to Khaleesi and beyond. In the above thesis statement, she goes into details to outline the specific characteristics of leadership that she will later address in the body.

4. Write the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are the meat of your essay. Here you will have the opportunity to show your readers what a great leader you are. Make use of vivid examples and descriptive language. More than stating what you do, demonstrate courage or any other leadership trait that you may have chosen to give your readers a clear picture of this. This is how Daenery’s body paragraph could go like: It became more difficult to get through the rooms as I went through a series of them. The Iron Throne is my first actual end goal. Right in front of me was what I had often dreamt about. Unfortunately, it was not what was important to me at the moment, though I could feel it and see it. I had to press on once I heard my dragons calling me because I knew that I had to get them and myself out alive.

5. Wrap It Up

A conclusion is your final step. The impact that your leadership has had on others, share it with your readers. They should also know what you have discovered about yourself regarding leadership. Daenery’s conclusion may look like: I was the last dragon though I grew up being told that the title was for my brother. In my convictions, I became stronger and bolder. I realized that my role as the mother of dragons and continuously grew stronger and more daring in my beliefs as I continued to help save the lives of thousands.


From the above, you can tell that writing a leadership essay is not rocket science. All you have to do is look within yourself to find the leadership qualities that you possess.