I’m honestly so tired of seeing all the “Keith is a horrible leader. He should never become the black paladin because he’s reckless and he sucks!” on my dash… especially those that use the rescue scene in Season 1 Episode 1 as an example.
Funny enough, if you stop and really really pay attention to this entire scene, you will realize that it actually highlightsa lot of Keith’s traits that would make him a successful leader for Team Voltron (or any team, for that matter):
→ Despite it not being in his initial plan, Keith was able to think, act, and then successfully lead a group of people he didn’t even know in a strategic manner despite the obstacles and limitations that unexpectedly arose.
→ He was able to maintain his cool while in a pinch, even while everybody else was freaking out and screaming at him about everything. As someone who works very closely with the military and leads a team of people in combating casualties when they occur, I can attest that remaining calm in the face of chaos is an invaluable leadership skill. If the leader is calm, the rest of the team will more likely be able to calm down and focus on the task at hand.
→ He was able to direct this panicking group of people to take action in order to execute his plan (such as guiding Hunk to use his weight to help them steer the overloaded hover bike), which from personal experience I can tell you is not easy.
→ He was able to make split-second, confident decisions at just the right time in order to further their escape. I can’t emphasize enough how making solid decisions in a pinch can truly be the difference between success and failure, even between life and death. That being said…
→ He understood that risks were necessary if the team as a whole was to have a chance at success. Sure, people are complaining about how he drove himself and the others off the edge of a cliff, but it was all part of a plan he was able to develop on the fly. If you recall, not a single one of them got hurt.
→ Also tied to the bullet above, Keith was confident in his own skills to know he could execute said plan. He was confident enough to tell the others among their terrified screams to trust him.
In the end, Keith was able to rescue Shiro and lead everyone else to safety with no casualties on their end.
Some examples from later in the series also display other excellent leadership qualities that Keith possesses:
→ He is a team player. He understands that they all need to work together in order to achieve their common goal, and he also understands that personal desires must sometimes be sacrificed in favor of what is right for the greater good.
→ He recognizes others’ efforts and lets them know that they are noticed and appreciated, like when he tells Hunk how invaluable his efforts were during their mission to retrieve scaultrite from the belly of the Weblum.
→ The team’s current leader appears to know him better than anyone else (and definitely knows him better than we know Keith due to the very limited information we have on his past), and strongly believes that Keith is capable of leading the group.
Do none of these things count for anything? Because honestly, Keith sounds like an excellent albeit unwilling leader to me.
P.S. This is not a post claiming that Keith should be the Black Paladin, it is simply a post to prove that all those who say he has zero leadership skills are wrong.