Beyond being the King of Ithaca, Odysseus showed leadership by being a key player in the Greek success of the Trojan War; refusing to leave the battlefield and leading a nocturnal raid on the Trojans. After the victory in Troy, he led his men through a series of perilous events over 10 years on their journey back to Ithaca, never abandoning his men even as he strove to return to his wife and son.
Though Odysseus was reluctant to join the Trojan War, once he was drawn into the Greek effort to overcome Troy, he proved himself an invaluable leader. He convinced Achilles to join the expedition, came up with the idea for the giant wooden horse that allowed the Greeks to take the city of Troy itself and fought valiantly — if somewhat brutally — shoulder to shoulder with his men.
On the journey home from the war, Odysseus found himself tested again and again—fighting and outsmarting a Cyclops, a sorceress and the Sirens, surviving several shipwrecks and even resisting the promise of immortality and eternal youth to get himself and his men home. Once home, Odysseus found a way to outsmart the many suitors who were trying to marry his wife and take over his kingdom. Finally, he took his rightful place upon the throne once again.