Bono

By: Mick Yates

Front man of the Irish band U2, he is perhaps not initially an obvious choice for our featured leader. However, delving deeper may perhaps change your mind.

Born Paul Hewson in Ireland in 1960, Bono's career with the band that would become U2, started in the kitchen of the drummer Larry Mullen. It's well documented that it was his commanding personality and charisma that landed him the front man job, rather than his ability to sing. In fact Bono would be the first to admit that in those days his voice needed a little work.

Although already on the way to stardom by 1993, it was the album 'War' that really marked the arrival of U2, unleashing their political philosophies and values on an unsuspecting public. With the foundation laid for U2 to become arguably the biggest band of the late 20th Century, maintaining that status has been in no small part due to Bono's ability to transform himself and the band, anticipating the changing needs and expectations of their audience.

Aside from the band, Bono has increasingly become prominent in other spheres, displaying his ability to act as a different kind of leader as spokesman for Netaid and Jubilee 2000 in their bid to end third world debt. He is also co-founder of DATA (Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa) prompting Time Magazine to recently ask, "Can Bono Save the World?"

Never afraid to throw himself in at the deep end, Bono is certainly a driving force. With a flare for capturing the attention of others, he is an adaptable risk taker who inspires those around him into action.

Melanie Smith