Being a great leader requires the leader to put others above themselves. The leader has to be willing to take full responsibility over situations that affect the whole group of people. Of all the leaders I have come across, Bang Yongguk seems to be the only one who has the “natural born leader” traits in his character. Bang Yongguk is the leader and eldest member of a boy group named BAP.
BAP is a 6-member Korean boy band that consists of Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, Himchan, Junhong, and Yongguk. Before Yongguk debuted as a BAP member he formed part of an underground rap group named Soul Connection and he went by the name of Jepp Blackman. In this group he was considered the rookie because he was the youngest. He did not see himself being part of an idol group, that was until an agent from TS entertainment decided to scout him for their company. He was set to debut with Junking as a duo but the company decided to throw them into a group with four other members. Yongguk was given the role as leader because he had previous experience of being in a group and he was the oldest of all the 6 guys who would soon be known as BAP.
Typically in idol groups the leaders are given respect, and it is frowned upon to even talk back to a leader. In most cases the group members seem to be afraid of their leaders but not in BAP’s case. They seem to feel more comfortable around Yongguk and I believe this is a very important quality a leader should have. The members seem to be able to confide in and trust him. At first Yongguk does seem extremely intimidating because of his really deep voice and shy personality but he is literally a stuffed bear. He may be quiet and reserved but he has the gummiest smile that screams “I’m really not scary, I promise.”
While BAP was on hiatus for nearly two years (caught up in lawsuits over exploitive contracts), Yongguk released a song talking about how sorry he was that he let his team down and that the members are like his younger brothers. Although the whole suing of the company was not his fault, he took full responsibility for it. He felt the need to apologize to his members because he felt as if he failed as a leader.
In my opinion he is the best idol leader because through all of the mistreatment they suffered under the company, he kept all 6 members together. If anyone else had been in charge, they would surely have split. For example, EXO has had 3 members leave the group and I feel like it is because their leader did not try his best to make them feel like an actual family. The youngest member of BAP was still underage when they were being treated unfairly by their company, so Yongguk decided to endure all the hardships until he became of legal age so that no one gets left behind. He is very thoughtful and caring but can also show the strength qualities that a leader must have to get respect when needed.
In November of 2016 BAP were scheduled to have a new album released with a new music video. A few days before the releases their company let out a notice saying Yongguk would not promote with them because he got diagnosed with panic disorder. He went through so much stress trying to perfect the album that he risked his own health. To heal himself, he took a 5-month hiatus during which the other five members constantly cheered him on. BAP received an award for their latest song, and the five members present to receive it did not finish the acceptance speech without mentioning how Yongguk is the best leader and older brother.
BAP is not whole without Yongguk. They left an empty spot where he would have been while they were performing and just did not seem like themselves. He has made a huge impact on all the members. He practically raised them since they were all young teens when they began training. He took the role as a leader with no prior knowledge of what challenges he would be faced with and dealt with it like a true leader. His natural leader qualities really shine and show that BAP will continue achieving great things as long as they have Bang Yongguk there to lead and support them.