Johnnie
Johnnie asked:

I love this book and am about to read it again for a class on Leadership. I can't wait to see Fiver again. What are the leadership elements everyone else sees?

To answer questions about Watership Down, please sign up.
Nicholas Hazel possesses fundamental leadership qualities:
Intuition and empathy allow him to understand the talents and motivation of his fellow rabbits (and other animals that rabbits tend to dismiss, such as the mouse and Keharr).
Modesty allows him to understand and accept that others are stronger, smarter, and more capable than himself in many aspects, and therefore his aptitude lies in directing the talents of others for the benefit of the group.
Courage identifies him as selfless and admirable, and therefore others are willing to trust and follow him.

This is all beautifully summarized by Thayli, the biggest and strongest in the warren, when he is face-to-face with Woundwart, defending the run against insurmountable odds, with the opportunity to safely defect, while Hazel wasn't even there:
"My Chief Rabbit has told me to stay and defend this run, and until he says otherwise, I shall stay here."
Brian Bigwig should have been the natural leader of the warren he was biggest, and strongest, but he and other recognized that being the biggest, strongest, and most outgoing doesn't make the best leader, and they naturally followed Hazel and Bigwig only lived due to Hazel's brilliance in defeating the razor wire trap that almost killed Bigwig.
Ginny Lee I see several with leadership elements in this story - Hazel, Bigwig, Hyzenthlay, and even Fiver. All have the wit and strength to lead in unique situations and times, throughout their adventures.

I have read the book 3 times, and will read it again. Every time, I am made aware of something new that I missed, before. A wonderful book - at the top of my "Best Reads" list.
Pat I think Hazel's leadership style brings out the best in everyone because he recognizes their strengths and weaknesses and knows how to use those strengths without devaluing them for their weaknesses.
Barry Stanton
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Maggieline Wu When Hazel recognizes the importance to listen all the opinions of the other rabbits and also make allegiances with Kehaar and mouse.
Amber
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Deklin I feel like fiver should have been a bigger leader because almost every vision he had was spot on and the rabbits would have been safer listening to him when they didn't. I also like the idea of the smallest rabbit being the leader like an underdog. Although I can see why Fiver isn't the leader because he doesn't seem to posses an assertive quality and likes to follow hazel.
Elizabeth Antilles All the rabbits really proved themselves within Watership Down even minor characters such as Speedwell and Hawkbit who initially skeptical of following Hazel became to trust in the foretelling of Fiver and Hazel's faith in his brother. Another eye opener in leadership for me was when Strawberry from the Warren of Snares acknowledged that those rabbits he once called his own kin were not living the way a rabbit should among their idles of their own folk theories of Firth. He proves himself useful, skilled and strong especially when Hazel appoints him on the expedition to Efrafa!
Lily Gordon Mostly Hazel but also Bigwig in the Efrafa part.
Dan hazel's leadership.
Image for Watership Down
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more