After raiding the island of Cicones on their way back to Ithaca, Odysseus’s men indulged in a lavish celebration of their victory. Odysseus saw his crew being consumed by greed and losing sight of their ultimate goal of returning home. He convinced his team to run for the ships just as the Cicones began to fight back in full force.
Odysseus, the protagonist of Homer’s famous poem The Odyssey, is often thought of as a great leader. There are many examples from the epic of Odysseus being brave and showing his companions the right way forward. In Book 9 of the epic, the hero and his shipmates stop at the shores of Ismarus. They hoped to find more provisions for their long journey back to Ithaca. While searching, they plundered the land, killed the Cicones men, and enslaved the women.
Odysseus orders his men to share the loot equally and return to the ships, but they do not listen to him and keep on plundering. Seeing his men overcome with greed, Odysseus returns to the boats and refuses to help them fight the newly arrived forces. The episode in the land of Cicones in the Odyssey shows the hero’s leadership through this refusal. If his men do not follow him, he will not fight for them. Odysseus teaches them a lesson of the importance of trust in your leader.