How to write a High-Quality and Powerful leadership Essay

author By Mary Boies

We consider creating an essay on leadership a noble task, yet that’s not the same for everyone. Some find it complicated, while others find it enjoyable. The secret lies in the mastery of leadership essay writing dos and don’ts, which we share in this article.

leadership essay writing guide with examples

One of the common requirements for admission to the most prestigious colleges is a leadership essay. In addition, college admission boards sometimes require applicants to submit a well-written leadership essay. The purpose is to assess the leadership qualities of applicants to shortlist only those who have the right leadership skills.

In most cases, you will be requested to write a short essay on leadership. For instance, you can be asked to write either a 250-word or 500-word leadership essay.

Aside from admissions, there are courses such as religious studies, management, political science, nursing, and social work that will require you to complete leadership essays.

In the real sense, even if you have never been in a direct leadership position, you can still write an attention-grabbing leadership essay. This article is all about showing you how to do this. By the time you are done reading it, you should be able to write a convincing leadership essay.

Let’s begin.

What is a leadership essay?

A leadership essay is a standard academic essay where you explore the different aspects, attributes, perspectives, and leadership topics either as a class assignment or for college admission purposes.

A good leadership essay incorporates all the elements of an academic essay, including title page, introduction, body paragraphs, transition words, citations, references, and conclusions. In addition, it should be clear, concise, and competent enough to answer the essay prompt.

A leadership essay is a remarkable essay that you should expect at least once in your college life. You will either be asked to write it as part of your college admission application or as an assignment when pursuing a business, political science, economics, or management course.

Most of the time, when a professor asks you to write a leadership essay, they will give you all the instructions you need to write the essay. About 90% of the time, your professor will mark your essay based on your understanding of leadership as well as your writing, presentation, organization, and analytical skills.

Therefore, to ace a leadership essay, you must write a serious essay showing your understanding of leadership and academic writing skills.

Related Reading: How to write a five-paragraph Essay.

How to approach a leadership essay

You can approach a leadership essay using many angles or perspectives based on your essay prompt.

  1. From a personal point of view – this is usually the subjective view of leadership based on your leadership attributes, styles, and characteristics. This approach is commonly taken when writing personal statements or admission essays based on leadership.
  2. A social leader perspective is a common approach when writing about leaders who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills. You can focus on political, business, religious, and professional leaders.
  3. Real-life examples – you can approach your leadership essay from the perspective of real-life examples of leaders. For example, you can talk of your friends, family members, teachers, and acquaintances who appear as leaders depending on their qualities.
  4. Based on leadership styles – you can write a leadership essay based on the leadership styles preferred by the leader (s) in question. In most cases, you will single out a leader and explain why they fit a leadership style, say servant leadership or democratic leadership.
  5. Leadership theories – same as leadership styles, you can also formulate your arguments in a leadership essay based on the theories of leadership that best explain the leadership approaches of a specific leader. Here, you will view the leader from an external perspective, determine what makes them great, and relate their leadership style and approach to a specific theory. Leadership theories include transformational, charismatic, transactional, situational, behavioural, contingency, great man, and trait theories.

Understanding the approach of your essay on leadership based on these perspectives or angles of analysis usually helps frame your paper and limit its scope to answering the essay prompt. 

The best Leadership Essay Outline or Structure

Writing an essay outline must always start with research and then organizing your main points in a structured manner.

Your leadership essay outline should include the introduction, body, and conclusion.

1. Introduction

When outlining what you should include in your leadership essay introduction, at the very least, make sure you have a hook statement. This will make them want to read the rest of your essay. Try as much as possible to ensure the statement is related to leadership. It can be a statistic, quote, anecdote, leadership fact, or rhetorical question.

You must also include a thesis statement. The thesis statement is your main argument, which features in your essay as the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. It is what you will be supporting throughout the essay with supporting claims, data, and evidence.

So, under the introduction part of your outline, include a hook, background information, and a thesis statement. Sometimes, you can also include an outline of how you argue your points of present ideas in your essay.

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2. Body

When outlining what you will include in your leadership essay, you need to detail what you will discuss in your body paragraphs. The typical leadership essay will consist of between three to five body paragraphs. You must write what you will include in each body paragraph. Short leadership essays can sometimes have two to three paragraphs, depending on the word limit and the essay question.

Each body paragraph should start with an argument supporting your main argument or thesis. So, when outlining body paragraphs, you should begin by stating your supporting argument and then highlighting the main points you will use to support the argument. Do this for all three or five body paragraphs. Ensure you carefully select the linking words to ensure a good flow of ideas.

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3. Conclusion

Your leadership essay will need a powerful conclusion paragraph to be complete. Therefore, make sure you include it in your outline. Your conclusion should begin with a restatement of your main argument plus the key supporting arguments. You should never include new arguments or information in the conclusion paragraph. This will confuse your readers.

What you want to do after summarizing your essay is to make a statement that leaves an impression on the reader. A good closing statement will also ensure you get all the points for the essay.

Related Read: Words to use instead of "in conclusion" or "in summary."

Steps to follow to write a good leadership essay

Now that you know how to outline or structure a leadership essay, it is time to learn how to write a quality leadership essay.

Step 1: Read and re-read the question or prompt

When writing a leadership essay, the first thing you need to do is understand the question correctly. It is essential to do this before you do any research. Reading and re-reading the question and thinking carefully will help you know what is needed.

Leadership essays typically require you to reflect on your leadership traits or qualities. If you are required to write about your leadership traits, list all your leadership positions in the past. And then, list all the traits you demonstrated in those positions.

If you cannot easily do this, you should Google example leadership essays. These essays will help you to uncover your leadership traits.

Step 2: Write an outline 

Once you have understood the question and listed your leadership positions and traits, it is time to write an outline.

You can quickly write an outline if the leadership essay asks you to discuss yourself. But, again, this is because you have already written about your previous leadership positions and traits.

Suppose the essay asks you to focus on a particular leader or aspect of leadership. In that case, you will need to do more research before writing an outline.

A typical leadership essay outline will include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Check out the section above on how to write a leadership essay outline. A good outline will provide your essay with structure and flow.

Step 3: Write the leadership essay introduction

The first section of the outline is the introduction. You need to start your introduction with an attention-grabbing statement. This is known as a hook. A hook is a statement that will hook your reader and make them want to read the rest of your introduction and essay.

It is especially important to have a hook as your first sentence when writing a leadership essay for admission to a university or college. This is because admissions staff do not have time to consider each application carefully. So, make sure your essay stands out by writing a spellbinding hook.

Perhaps the easiest way to write a hook is to rewrite the peak of your leadership story. This could be the most exciting thing that has happened to you or that you have achieved as a leader. Write it as the first statement in your essay to draw in your readers. Then, use this statement to set up your story.

The last statement in your introduction should be your thesis statement. The thesis statement is your main point or accomplishment as a leader. Therefore, it is what your entire essay should focus on.

Step 4: Write your body paragraphs

After the introduction, the next section is the body. The body of the essay is made up of body paragraphs. Depending on the essay requirements, you can include three or five body paragraphs. Make sure each paragraph focuses on a specific leadership trait.

To discuss each trait, mention it at the beginning of the paragraph and then support it with evidence. Share how you think the trait makes you what you say you are. For example, if you said you are honest in the introduction, mention honesty to introduce a body paragraph and then tell your readers why you are an honest leader and its importance.

Make your writing as descriptive as possible, and use examples everywhere in your essay.

Step 5: Write the conclusion

The conclusion of your work needs to be strong. You use it to create a lasting impression on your reader’s mind. You should begin your conclusion by restating your thesis and then tying all the main points together. You should then talk a bit about the impact of your leadership. You should do this without introducing any new information.

After writing your conclusion, you should edit and proofread your work to ensure it is flawless before submitting it to the college admissions board.

The five steps above show that writing a leadership essay is not difficult. Of course, it is challenging, but it is certainly not very difficult. If you find it challenging to write a leadership essay, contact us now to get all the help you need. 

Step 6: Edit and Proofread your essay

Submitting a compelling leadership essay is a beautiful experience everyone looks up to. However, before submitting the essay, take some time and review the essay. Read through the essay more than once to identify and correct the mistakes. Then, hire a professional proofreader to check whether your essay is a hit or miss. Based on their feedback, you can further perfect your essay to appeal to the admissions essay or your professor.

Use editing software to assess your essay for spelling, syntax, language, grammar, and punctuation errors. Correct these errors and read through the essay again and again. Then, before turning in the essay, re-read the essay aloud to yourself and make necessary tweaks.

If it is for admissions purposes, make it as subjective as possible. But, on the other hand, it should be relatable and honest, and never lie. And if it is a leadership essay, consider using evidence, examples, and illustrations to support your thesis.

Five Tips to write a good leadership essay

Follow these leadership essay tips to ensure your long or short essay on leadership is as good as it can be.

  1. Research online to get plenty of points – Researching online and earning points on whatever you want to write will make your essay more interesting and convincing.
  2. Take time to create a good thesis statement – Your thesis statement is probably the one thing that will determine if the reader will be interested in reading the rest of your essay. So, make sure it is detailed and exciting.
  3. Create an outline – Make sure you create an outline before writing your long or short essay on leadership. Doing so will make your essay structured and coherent.
  4. Create the first draft – After creating an outline, write your essay. After writing the essay, review it and edit it repeatedly until it feels right. Doing this will ensure the final draft is well-polished and very easy to understand.
  5. Check your essay for plagiarism – Checking your essay for plagiarism will help you identify non-original parts of your essay and eliminate them. Remember, most professors consider plagiarism a great sin.

Top 7 Qualities of an excellent leader to include in an essay

The best leadership essays focus on good leadership qualities or traits. The most useful leadership traits are listed below. The importance of each point is also highlighted.

  1. Empathy – The best leaders feel for others and always try to understand rather than force their methods and ways.
  2. Determination – Showing commitment and discipline is an effective way for leaders to guide their followers.
  3. Competence – Having expertise and doing the work correctly is essential to leadership because it helps leaders lead.
  4. Confidence –Leaders must show that they fully believe whatever they are planning, preaching, or doing to get buy-in from their followers.
  5. Honesty – Honest or straightforward leaders quickly build trust and get people to believe in their vision.
  6. Communication – Clear messaging of the vision and the objectives of one’s organization will help to ensure both are achieved.
  7. Vision – Leaders must be forward-looking to avoid predicted risks and take advantage of predicted opportunities.

A typical short essay on leadership or the qualities of a good leader essay will include three paragraphs focusing on one leadership trait.

Types of leadership styles to include in an essay

There are several types of leadership styles that you can talk about in your essay. The main ones are listed below.

  1. Democratic leadership style – This style is also known as participative. At its core, it is a leader who engages and involves team members in decision-making. It results in employees feeling valued and motivated.
  2. Laissez-Faire leadership style – At the core of this leadership style is a very laidback and almost lazy type of leader who does not offer a lot of direction or guidance. While this can make some employees feel free, it is also known to cause confusion and chaos occasionally.
  3. The transactional leadership style is characterized by a leader who creates and maintains a structured environment where everything moves like clockwork. This leadership style often improves efficiency and helps attain short-term and mid-term goals.
  4. Transformational leadership style – This leadership style is characterized by a leader who acts as a role model to get the change they desire from others. A transformational leader also works hard to motivate employees and show them they are valued.

If you feel that a leadership style reflects who you are, you can state that in your thesis and then try to support your thesis with arguments that support you are who you say you are.

35 Leadership Research Essay Topics and Ideas to Consider

Because in most cases, you will be required to choose a good topic for your leadership essay, research it, and write an essay. The topic ideas we list below can come in handy. Here is a list of leadership essay topics to consider:

  1. The impacts of charismatic leaders on teamwork
  2. How leadership differs from management
  3. Are leaders born or made?
  4. Is leadership an acquired or innate trait?
  5. Are transactional leaders more effective than transformational leaders?
  6. The best leadership style for school principles
  7. Qualities of a great leader
  8. The leadership qualities of Mahatma Gandhi
  9. Bidden vs Putin Leadership Styles
  10. Historic leaders that influenced today’s leadership approaches
  11. Impacts of democratic leadership on organizations
  12. Best leadership styles for high-performance work teams
  13. Do females make better leaders?
  14. Why liberal leaders make better presidents
  15. Leaders should have higher cognitive abilities
  16. Qualities of a good nurse leader
  17. Benefits of leadership development courses
  18. Should employees be trained in leadership?
  19. Role of college environments in fostering leadership
  20. Does college leadership raise future leaders?
  21. Why should leaders be earnest?
  22. How leadership creates an enabling environment for employees
  23. The link between leadership and organizational performance
  24. Relationship between leadership and employee engagement
  25. Leadership fosters positive organizational citizenship behaviour
  26. HR managers should possess soft leadership skills
  27. Leaders who failed and rose again
  28. Role of higher education institutions in developing leadership
  29. Leadership traits of Queen Elizabeth
  30. Leadership characteristics of President Obama
  31. World leaders who have adopted dictatorship as a leadership approach
  32. Quality leadership and turnover rates in public health organizations
  33. Role of hospital leaders
  34. The link between leadership and stress levels of employees
  35. Are leaders constantly under pressure

Final Remarks

You now know everything about leadership essays. You know how to write a leadership essay outline and the steps you need to follow to write the actual essay. You can use the information in this leadership essay guide to writing a 250-word or 500-word essay on leadership.

When asked to write an admission essay based on your leadership qualities and experience, it is sometimes challenging. Well, you are not alone. Because most college applicants usually have minimal meaningful leadership experience. The majority are generally not very excited about writing a leadership essay.

We have guided you on the specifics to focus your leadership essays on, even if you have no prior leadership experience. However, if you need help writing a leadership skills essay, hire an expert essay helper now to get all the help you need. Our essay tutors can help you create an outline or produce a complete leadership essay within days or even hours.

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