A Great Leader – Student Essay

A Great Leader

Student Essay

Written By: Jayeon Kim

What traits make a great leader? I have a few ideas about this. The Kingdom of Great Joseon, now known as Korea, was a dynasty and a really strong empire for more than 600 years. It was the longest ruling dynasty in the world. The reason it lasted for 600 years was because there were great leaders. Though some characteristics of great leaders changed in the Joseon dynasty, others still remain in modern society. In addition to the Joseon dynasty, I can also find some traits of great leaders in the art field and in Hollywood.

First, a great leader should be dedicated. A person should give their whole life to something like art. For example, Tehching Hsieh is the most famous performance artist in the world, and he influences many artists. Usually, before his works, artists performed only for a few hours or a day. However, he did six durational (long) performance pieces such as ‘One Year Performance,’ ‘Art/Life,’ and ‘Thirteen Year Plan’ which were completed between 1978 and 2000. During these performances, he spent one year in a cage he made and spent one year outside, not entering buildings or shelter of any sort, not even cars. Also, he and another woman artist stayed together in the same room; they were tied together with a rope and were not allowed to touch each other for a year. He took photos and videos to document each project. Hsieh’s works makes him a great leader because his performances required a sensational amount of dedication.

Dedication is not the only characteristic of a great leader. A great leader must also be strong; people follow strength. Jason Momoa, for instance, is an American actor known for being in “Aquaman” and “Game of Thrones.” Because his appearance is so strong, his role is always a leader: a leader of the ocean or a leader of the Dothraki. In the Dothraki tribe, Jason Momoa’s character is a powerful warlord. He is an accomplished warrior and has never been defeated in battle. As a result, he has really long hair, because when warriors fight in this world, the winner can cut the loser’s hair. Because his hair is long, people follow his strength. Moreover, in Aquaman, his character is also really strong, and everyone follows him as he tries to retrieve the Trident of Atlan from his power-hungry brother King Orm. All of these things combined show that, if you’re strong, people follow you. That’s why people follow Jason Momoa’s characters.

In addition to dedication and being strong, creativity is an important quality in a great leader. A man with creativity helps people in a lot of ways. For example, the 4th King of Korea, Sejong, was given the title ‘Sejong the Great’ because, during his years as ruler, Korea advanced in natural science, agriculture, literature, and engineering. He developed new policies, and low status people were allowed to work for the government. He broke the rules and peoples’ general way of thinking; it was an innovation. Also, Sejong displayed his talents as an inventor. He created machines to facilitate agricultural work, astronomical devices, and eyeglasses. All of these things made Korea become a rich country. Moreover, he created Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Since 1440, Koreans have exported Hangul to other countries. If he hadn’t had creativity, many Koreans would not remember him as a great leader.

In conclusion, I think a great leader should be dedicated and strong. Many artists followed Hsieh’s dedication, and the Dothraki people followed Jason Momoa’s character’s strength. On top of that, creativity is a significant trait of a great leader. If King Sejong had not been a creative person, Hangul would not have been created. These are three traits that I think a great leader needs.


New Year’s Idioms

In the United States, when the new year is approaching, many people think about what they accomplished and what mistakes or wrong choices they made so they can change them in the year that’s about to start. In other words, they think of the new year as a new beginning – an opportunity to leave anything they don’t like about their life in the past and set goals to change them, or they just set new goals for self-improvement. Here are some idioms or phrases connected with this practice.

New Year’s Resolution– a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.

Example: “Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?”

     “Yes, I’m going to eat healthier and give up smoking.”


turn over a new leaf– to change your behavior in a positive way.

Example: She turned over a new leaf; she began getting to school on time and doing all her homework.


kick the habit– to give up something that you have done for a long time.

Example: He used to smoke but he kicked the habit last year.


bite off more than you can chew– when you do something that proves to be too difficult 

Example: I think he’s bitten off more than he can chew taking all those classes; he should’ve started with just a couple of classes at first.


get the ball rolling– to make something happen or the beginning of something 

Example: We want to get fit this year so we joined the gym to get the ball rolling.


back to the drawing board– to go back to the beginning of a plan, and start over

Example: My plan to read one book per week did not work last year. I have to go back to the drawing board and think of a new way to accomplish my goal of reading more. 

New Year’s – What is it to you?

On Christmas Eve, a blanket of wispy fog hovered our skies- which gave the day an extra boost of holiday spirit. Here in Orange County, we do not get snow. Your best bet will be the Disneyland Winter show. Yes, soap bubbles! To some, this might come off as absurd.  However, in retrospect, there are people in America who have never seen real snow; there are people from all corners of the globe who have never seen snow; there are a handful of ESL students here at Poly Languages who have never stepped in snow, even some of our staff that are native Californians! To these people, and then some, the substance that is known to them as a cleaning agent (soap) transforms into a holiday spectacle that will remain in their memories for time to come.  


Once Christmas celebrations are over, the holiday spirit isn’t over. In America, at least, the festive spirit remains because of the soon-to-come New Year. Like the soap-bubbles snow, people see New Year’s Day in different ways. In many countries, the New Year’s date is determined by astronomical and astrological factors.  Though some other countries’ New Year’s Day are practiced in the United States, there is one day that the nation recognizes as a national holiday. The U.S. New Year is observed on January 1st on the modern Gregorian and Julian calendar.


Traditionally, the New Year is an occasion where people spend time with their loved ones. The night is accompanied by fireworks and parties. Probably the most famous New Year’s Day celebration is held in New York City. The famous Times Square Ball is lowered with a countdown a minute before midnight. A gigantic series of celebrations is followed by the New Year announcement. A great display of fireworks, music, live performances, and shows are put on. People can also enjoy these grand spectacles in the comfort of their own home–on television.  


There is more to the New Year’s Day tradition in America. A common practice done by many Americans is to make New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all made promises or goals during our lives, and these resolutions are no different. What makes New Year’s resolutions so significant? To some, it signifies a new cycle of life–shed last year’s mistakes and woes and start off on a clean slate. It’s definitely a positive mindset. To others, it serves as a motivational tool. Some find similarities in their resolutions and work together to achieve them. Regardless of the rationality, New Year’s resolutions reflect the holiday spirit of bringing people together.


Whether it’s soapy snow, fireworks, music, a giant ball being dropped in Times Square, or making resolutions, the holidays are a time of celebration and community.