If the readers will analyze of the Odysseus, they can interpret how the Greeks’ view a leader during that period. Odysseus is the defining character in the epic. He demonstrates the character traits of a Homeric leader defined by nobility, courage and continuous pursuit of glory. He also embodies authority and confidence, '"You are a hard man, Odysseus. Your force is greater, your limbs never wear out. You must be made all of iron, when you will not let your companions, worn with hard work and wanting sleep, set foot on this land, where if we did, on the seagirt island we could once more make ready a greedy dinner; but you force us to blunder along just as we are through the running night, driven from the island over the misty face of the water."' (12.279-285)”
Throughout the epic, however, his most defining leadership characteristic was his quick and sharp thinking. Despite the presence of challenges and trouble, Odysseus throughout the epic managed to escape, for example, when he managed to escape the Cave of the Cyclops in the 9th book. Other scenes that showcase his sharp intellect include in book 23 when he hides his slaughter of the suitors by having his own minstrel during the wedding practice,  but I was planning so that things would come out the best way, and trying to find some release from death, for my companions and myself too, combining all my resource and treacheries, as with life at stake, for the great evil was very close to us. “(9.420-432).
Similar to other notable Homeric heroes, Odysseus can also be described as a good speaker because he displays articulation and the ability to pursue others. He can even manipulate his audience with ease with the use of his speech. When he addressed Nausicaa initially in the island of Scheria, his good delivery of the speech managed to earn the trust of Nausicaa. He continuously seeks glory. Kleos or winning glory through great and defining deeds was the primary aim of Odysseus, but it was not his only aim, it was observed that he was also aiming for nostos ,or homecoming. This is seen when he wanted to return home despite enjoying a luxurious life with Calypso, even if he knows that even his own wife cannot be compared to the woman he will be leaving. Although his glory-seeking tendencies tend to get into his desire to return home, he continuous his voyage. In one battle in the land Cicones, he lost a lot of men and time but he still managed to sack the land. Although he may be considered as static (similar to many other Homeric characters), he appears to be realistic and complex.
Another character, Telemachus like Odysseus broke several rules. This revelation highlights that for the Greeks; their leaders must also know how to take risk and not follow the status quo of society. During the early parts of his voyage, his love for glory made him share is true identity to the Cyclops that prompted Poseidon to bring down his wrath against Odysseus. As the epic draws its close, he appeared to be more willing to temper his pride with patience, keep your joy in your heart, old dame; stop, do not raise up the cry. It is not piety to glory so over slain men. These were destroyed by the doom of the gods and their own hard actions .' (22.411-413)”
Throughout the epic, his characterization is complex. He is a paradoxical leader as he lives by his courage but at the same time his wiles. It is no doubt that he is intellectual; he often evaluates the situation prior to taking actions. He constantly displays logic when he is making his choices. But his curiosity often causes him trouble such as what happened with the Cyclops, by my courage and counsel and my intelligence, we escaped away. I think that all this will be remembered some day too. Then do as I say, let us all be won over."' (12.208-213).But this displays his willingness to pay the price for knowledge. For example, he wanted to hear the call of the siren despite the warning of its danger. As a leader, he also defined as merciful, this was shown when he spared the bard Phemius or brutal. Despite his compassionate stand as a leader, he is constantly facing problems with a dozen of disloyal maidservants. As a leader he also creates his own rules and code of conducts as his adventure went on. Despite being labeled as deeper character than Achilles, he is still capable of being violent and impulse.
In general, as a leader, Odysseus being the most prominent character in the epic is an embodiment of a Greek leader during their time. He is often called as the man of twists and surprises and some other critics even dubbed him as a modern man. As soon as he left Troy, he already showed his character was a hero, “We are Achaians coming from Troy, beaten off our true course by winds from every direction across the great gulf of the open sea, making for home, by the wrong way, on the wrong courses. So we have come. So it has pleased Zeus to arrange it.”’ (9.259-262). Odysseus wants to conquer but at the same time leave immediately. His men preferred to stay, but he wisely wanted to leave, his men who preferred to stay eventually had to face defeat brought by the reinforcements. More than his leadership qualities, but makes Odysseus a good representation of a Greek leader is his realistic and believable encounters in the epic, Nobody is my name. My father and mother call me Nobody, as do all the others who are my companions.” (9.366-367).
Homer.The Odyssey. Trans. by Robert Fagles. Introduction by Bernard Knox. United States of America: Penguin Books.1996
Robin Lane The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian. United States of America: Basic Books.2006