The Leadership Qualities of Sir Michael Somare

As someone with many years of experience in leadership roles, I have had the opportunity to observe and learn from some of the best leaders in the world.

One person who stands out to me as a true leader is Sir Michael Somare, the former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

In this post, I will share some of the leadership qualities that Sir Michael exemplified during his time in office and how they have continued to inspire me in my own career.

It is important to note that the insights in this post are based on my observations and experiences, and should not be taken as a definitive account of Sir Michael’s leadership style.

Vision and Strategic Thinking

One of the key traits that set Sir Michael apart as a leader was his ability to think strategically and also to articulate a clear vision for the future.

He was known for his ability to see the bigger picture and to consider the long-term consequences of his decisions. This type of thinking is essential for any leader, as it helps to guide decision-making and ensure that the organization is moving in the right direction.

In my own experience, I have found that having a clear vision and the ability to think strategically are crucial for inspiring and motivating a team. When people understand where an organization is headed and how their efforts contribute to that vision, they are more likely to be invested in the success of the group.

This was certainly the case with Sir Michael, as he was able to rally support from a diverse group of stakeholders and achieve significant progress during his time in office.

Empathy and Authenticity

Another quality that Sir Michael possessed in abundance was empathy.

He was known for his ability to connect with people on a personal level and to truly understand their needs and concerns. This type of empathy is crucial for any leader, as it helps to build trust and create a sense of shared purpose among team members.

Being authentic and genuine is also essential for effective leadership. When people feel that their leader is genuine and transparent, they are more likely to follow that person and trust their judgment.

Certainly, this was the case with Sir Michael, who was highly respected for his honesty and integrity.

Collaboration and Inclusion

One of the things that struck me most about Sir Michael’s leadership style was his ability to foster collaboration and inclusivity.

He understood that diverse perspectives and approaches are essential for achieving success and worked to create an environment where all voices could be heard. This type of inclusivity is crucial for any leader, as it helps to ensure that a wide range of viewpoints are considered and that all team members feel valued and supported.

Collaboration and inclusivity are essential for building strong, effective teams.

When people feel that they are a valued part of the team and that their contributions are valued, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.

This was surely the case with Sir Michael, who was able to bring together a diverse group of people and achieve great progress during his time in office.

Adaptability and Flexibility

One can also admire Sir Michael’s ability to adapt and be flexible in the face of change.

He understood that the world is constantly evolving and that leaders must be willing to adapt their strategies and approaches to stay relevant and effective.

I have found that adaptability and flexibility are essential for staying ahead of the curve and remaining competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

When leaders can adapt and be flexible, they are better able to respond to changing circumstances and seize new opportunities as they arise. Sir Michael was able to navigate a complex and changing political landscape and achieve great progress during his time in office.

Courage and Conviction

One of the things that I respected most about Sir Michael’s leadership was his courage and conviction.

He was not afraid to take risks and make difficult decisions, even when they were unpopular or unconventional. This type of courage is crucial for any leader, because it helps to ensure that the organization can pursue its goals and make progress, even in the face of adversity.

From my experience, I can attest that courage and conviction are essential for effective leadership. When leaders are able to stand firm in their beliefs and are willing to take bold action, they can inspire and motivate their teams to achieve great things.

And Sir Michael was able to achieve significant progress, despite facing many challenges and obstacles.


Sir Michael Somare was a true leader who exemplified many essential qualities that are crucial for effective leadership.

His ability to think strategically and articulate a clear vision, his empathy and authenticity, his commitment to collaboration and inclusivity, his adaptability and flexibility, and his courage and conviction all contributed to his success as a leader.

These qualities are timeless and applicable to leaders in any field, and I hope that by sharing them, I have been able to inspire others to strive for excellence in their own leadership journeys.

In short, Sir Michael Somare was a leader whose legacy will continue to inspire and guide future leaders for many years to come.

Are you good at strategic thinking? Find out with our self-assessment!

About the Author
Hi there, I'm James, founder of Melbado. I have over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. Recently, I turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via our contact page.


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