“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
– John Maxwell.

Being able to influence someone is a prowess of a leader. A leader is simply not someone who has followers. Leadership is more than that; it is about the influence you have on people; it is about doing things not to please someone but to achieve the set goal. Leaders do not wait for any title, they simply lead, and others follow. Leadership qualities are not possessed by everyone; some people are born leaders, the ability to lead people to do something comes naturally to them.

People often confuse a leader and a boss, but there are noticeable differences between them. A boss will only command, while a leader will influence others and work as a part of the team. You will find your mentor in a leader but not in a boss. A leader will inspire you to do your job enthusiastically, while a boss will only explain the work. They say actions speak louder than words, and a leader is well versed with this phrase; that is why they pay more attention to performance than mere words.

Look back at times; no human civilization would have evolved if it wasn’t for great leaders of that generation. The true ability of a great leader is seen in difficult times when the people have lost the will to succeed; it is always a great leader who emerges from the shadow as a ray of hope. Leaders are firm believers who believe in achieving their goals even if they have to face any hurdle.

History has witnessed many great leaders that have led the human race to achieve goals that were once unachievable.
Here are the top 15 greatest leaders of all time:

15. Cleopatra:

                                              “I will not be triumphed over.”

Beauty with brains, the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, is one of the most powerful rulers. He ruled her kingdom at a time when all the powerful kingdoms were dominated by men. She is said to win two prominent men’s hearts at her time, Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.
She was highly educated, an excellent administrator, and a great diplomat. Egypt grew more prosperous in her reign, and she also established good international relations, especially with Rome.

14. Chandragupta Maurya:

                                        “A man is great by his deeds, not by birth.”

Chanakya, the political intellectual, raised a child to shape him into one of India’s greatest rulers- Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta Maurya was the first ruler under whom India was unified to be ruled under one political authority. The founder of the Mauryan empire succeeded in conquering the Indian sub-continent and the first to bring all the valleys of Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra under one rule.

13. Napoleon Bonaparte:

                                              “Great ambition is the passion of the great character.”
                                                                                                       -Napoleon Bonaparte

A great military commander and administrator, Napoleon is one of the most prominent rulers in French history. Born to a minor noble on the island off Italy’s coast, he soon gained control of France and conquered most of Europe. While he was expanding his territories, a state of war was created in Europe that lasted for 20 years.

12. Ashoka:

                                   “No society can prosper if it aims at making things easier -instead, it should make people stronger.”

Grandson of the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka was the last ruling emperor of the Maurya dynasty. Despite being cruel in the early years of his ruling, Ashoka turned to Buddhism and led the rest of his life in spreading the message of Dharma. This sudden change came after the bloodiest battle of Kalinga.

11. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:

                         “Freedom is a boon which everyone has a right to receive.”
                                                                           -Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

The father of the Indian Navy, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was a major threat to the Mughal empire ruling in India. Born as Shivaji Bhonsle, his mother started imparting knowledge to him at an early age. His ideologies included Purna Swaraj (complete Independence). He led the Maratha Empire as a mighty nation against the Mughals. His exceptional enemy Aurangzeb highly praised his leadership skills.


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10. Julius Ceasar:

                                          “Experience is the teacher of all things.”
                                                                                      -Julius Ceasar

The greatest orator of all time, Julius Ceasar, joined the military at a young and showed his prowess on the battlefield to make his army in no time. Ceasar was best at almost everything, which made his peers hate him leading to his assassination. A great military general of Rome, Ceasar is said to win his army’s confidence by remembering every soldier’s name whoever fought with him. He was regarded as the father of Rome and expanded his territory to a great extend.

9. Adolf Hilter:

          “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
                                                                                                                                        -Adolf Hitler

A veteran of World War I, and the cause of world war II, Hitler is one of the notorious leaders in history. He the Viilianious character history has produced, but one cannot deny that he was one of the greatest leaders of all time. A single person was able to convince Germany that their country doesn’t belong to Jews. Hitler proved that a good orator with a vision makes a leader persuade people to achieve his goal.

8. Franklin D. Roosevelt:

                                     “Rules are not necessarily sacred; principles are.”
                                                                                  -Franklin D. Roosevelt

The only U.S President to serve four consecutive terms, Franklin D Roosevelt led America through The Great Depression and World War Two. He led the country with optimism in such dire situations and showed the world how a great leader leads.

7. Winston Churchill:

           “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
                                                                                                        -Winston Churchill

A good leader is one who makes tough choices. The choices Sir Winston Churchill made during the second world war for Britain as the then Prime Minister made them win the war against Nazi Germany. A great strategist and a quick decision-maker who led Britain in tough times by making difficult choices make him one of the great leaders of all times.


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6. Abraham Lincoln:

                                             “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
                                                                                                  -Abraham Lincoln

A born leader, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th American President after several failed attempts. Not only Lincoln was a great leader, but a good human being whose will to never give up made America what it is today. He led the country through the civil war, and if it weren’t for him, America would have been many smaller countries instead of a big one. He ended slavery in the country.

5. Martin Luther King jr.:

                 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
                                                                                                      -Martin Luther King Jr.

People laugh when your vision doesn’t coincide with their’s. A great leader who had a clear vision of seeing people of all races enjoying equality, Martin Luther King Jr was an activist who chose the path of non-violence and led people to fight for equal rights for the African-Americans.

4. Nelson Mandela:

                                                “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”
                                                                                                 -Nelson Mandela

Even after spending almost 30 years in jail, the will to fight for what is right is made Nelson Mandela one of the most outstanding leaders of all time. He fought for the rights of black people and became the President of South Africa. He was a man of principles and a beloved leader who led his country to fight racism.

3. Mahatma Gandhi:

                                         “The future depends on what you do today.”
                                                                                    -Mahatma Gandhi

A man with simple Dhoti and a stick inspired the whole world by following the path of non-violence and making India free from the Britishers. Mahatma Gandhi, also known as the Father of The nation (India), led thousands of people to protest against the Britishers to rule out of the country.

2. Alexander The Great:

                            “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
                                                                                                                                                             -Alexander The Great

Known to conquer the world, Alexander the great is an excellent commander of all time. At the age of 33, his empire was spread from Greece to Egypt to part of India. He inherited a great army from his father and improved it with his brilliance. Tutored by the great philosopher Aristotle, Alexander’s military genius is undisputed. With an undefeated battle record, Alexander was the only military general in history to conquer such large parts of the earth.

1. Maharaj Ranjit Singh:

                          “The good Lord gave me sight in only one eye so that I can see and treat all of my subjects-Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Sikh, rich or poor- as equals.”
                                                                                                                                                                                -Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Sher-e-Punjab Maharaj Ranjit Singh is known to be the only leader who conquered Afghans. A great military commander, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was the founder of the Sikh Empire. He lost one eye as a child when he suffered from smallpox but still proved to be the most fierce leader. He was 17 years old when he first defeated Daman Shah Durrani’s invasion of India. At the age of 20, he sat on the throne of Punjab.
The BBC polls 2020 named Mahraj Ranjit Singh the greatest leaders of all time.