The fact that he and his men were wiped out eventually may be considered immaterial if one chose to look at it in terms of the leadership he displayed. In the film, Leonidas and his troop do not seem intimidated by the apparent strength of the opposing group. They look inspired and driven by a sense of self-belief? They are fighting for a purpose and will not stop at anything to defend their kingdom from external aggression. They are undeterred and willing to pay any price to defend their territory from foreign oppression by the Persians.
It takes extraordinary leadership to venture into certain things. Leonidas must be an extraordinary leader to make his 300 men believe that they could be victors in a battle against 300 men. Kouzes and Posner (2012) outline certain five practices of exemplary leadership in any organization. An exemplary leader models the way. They have the quality of personal credibility. They inspire others to believe in their abilities. They stand up for what they believe in. Leonidas stands against oppression of the Spartans by the Persians. He certainly understands that the inner belief is superior to physical strength at the battlefront. He makes 300 men believe in him, and they line up against 300000 men. According Kouzes and Posner (2012), a leader models the way by building and affirming certain shared values that are embraced by all. Leonidas and his men share the belief that Greece should never be invaded by foreigners who would end up oppressing the Spartans. They fight for a common cause. The second practice of an exemplary leader comes out naturally at this point. It involves inspiring a shared vision.