Every K-pop group has a leader and a maknae. The leader is usually one of the oldest members, but there are times where the maknae finds themselves in the leading position. On rare occasions, no leader is appointed and the group simply works together in synergy. Regardless of the situation at hand, leadership is a trait that finds itself within the members of an idol group and is crucial for their interpersonal and professional relationship.
Featuring a little bit of everything, here are nine K-pop idol maknaes who exude solid leadership skills.
1. Seo Taiji & Boys
Starting with the OG K-pop group, the trio’s leader Seo Taiji happens to be the youngest of his other two members. With their career bearing witness, the leading maknae did an excellent job rewiring the Korean music industry into a direction that allows to address more important messages that essentially concerned social criticism.
2. BTOB’s Sungjae
We all know Sungjae for his savagery, but did you know that he was a temporary leader for BTOB? In fact, with Minhyuk and Eunkwang being away to complete their military duty, Sungjae was elected by chance to fill the leader position until his members came back. All jokes aside, the members know their maknae best and they wouldn’t trust him with the position unless they knew he was up for the task.
3. MAMAMOO’s Hwasa
If you’re not familiar with MAMAMOO and come across Hwasa for the first time, you would definitely think she is the leader. That is due to her strong and confident personality, as she is unapologetically herself and always speaks her mind. She is also very warm and wise, which makes her the perfect runner-up candidate!
Here is another leader maknae alert! Actually, Seungyoon was WINNER’s leader from the start, but he only became the maknae as well after Nam Taehyun left the group. Either way, he fits right into this feature as he has shown his leadership potential throughout the years. Him being the youngest now is perhaps his prize for all the hard work he’s done so far. Hopefully he is pampered as such!
5. GOT7’s Yugyeom
Yugyeom has what it takes to be a leader, and Jay B agrees. In fact, when the two started their sub-unit Jus2, the maknae was appointed as the leader. According to Jay B, Yugyeom’s leadership skills lie in the fact that he gives members freedom to be themselves. It takes a lot of trust and belief in one’s members to give them space to channel their innerselves!
6. Girls’ Generation-TTS’ Seohyun
Seohyun is another idol who took on the leadership role in a sub-unit. As a matter of fact, Taeyeon and Tiffany acknowledged and praised her skills and chose her to represent TTS. This doesn’t come as a surprise as Seohyun has shown time and time again her selflessness, empathy, and cool-headedness when it mattered.
The golden maknae definitely has an eye for leadership. While his main reason for joining his current label was seeing RM rap, Jungkook continues to look up to his leader in all aspects of life. This tells us that he knows what makes a good leader and as he aspires to learn more from RM, channeling his inner leader is perhaps just a matter of time.
While the group has no leader, lots of fans enjoyed guessing which member would take on this responsibility if the position was vacant. Lisa’s name was brought up more often than not, and seeing how her presence and aura dominate every set she’s on and every person she interacts with, it goes without saying that she has what it takes to lead.
The bromance Sehun shares with Suho is simply goals. We often see them being playful on camera, but there is more to it. During one of EXO’s concerts, Suho said that Sehun often said that he would do great as a leader, so he wants to give him that opportunity one day to see how well he’d do. Now if the leader himself has faith in his maknae, then it’s set in stone!
Which idol maknae do you think exudes solid leadership skills? Let us know in the comments below!
Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.
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