So you're in charge. Especially in a dangerous environment. Are you going to take care of your people or sacrifice them to your convenience? Or something in between?

There's been a lot of fiction written about this. Here are some points along the scale and their associated tropes.

[[AC:The Franchise/{{Superman}}]]

This is the leader who makes sure to take the most dangerous or onerous duties on himself. Usually TheHero and often TheCape or a KnightInShiningArmor. More likely to lead a handful of TrueCompanions than an army, as he hates the thought of getting thousands of people killed. If he does lead an army, he's likely to be a FourStarBadass, AFatherToHisMen and is certain to put TheMenFirst.

[[AC:The [[TheLordOfTheRings Théoden]]]]

This is the leader who takes a roughly equal share of the danger, consistently RiskingTheKing. If AsskickingEqualsAuthority, this is likely to inspire UndyingLoyalty. If the leader isn't as powerful as his troops, this may be seen as HonorBeforeReason or even {{Death Seek|er}}ing.

[[AC:The [[Franchise/StargateVerse Hammond]]]]

Usually a ReasonableAuthorityFigure who gets out of the way of his men so that they can do their job. He stays back at MissionControl, where he may or may not do much during the mission. Still, if things go badly wrong, he's likely to [[GoingDownWithTheShip Go Down With His Ship]]. Likely to be an OfficerAndAGentleman. Most likely to suffer from TheChainsOfCommanding, though that can effect others as well. If he's significantly stronger than his underlings, this can turn into OrcusOnHisThrone.

[[AC:The [[Characters/XMenFilmSeriesMagneto Magneto]]]]

Named after the [[Film/XMenFilmSeries movie version]], not the [[ComicBook/XMen comic book]] version. This is the leader who [[WeHaveReserves has reserves]] and isn't reluctant to spend them. His men mean less to him than victory. Often a GloryHound, GeneralFailure or flat-out villain. In darker works, this can also be a good character who [[IDidWhatIHadToDo had to do]] it because the alternative was even worse. Such a character may later be found DrowningHisSorrows.

[[AC:The [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Xykon]]]]

This is the extreme BadBoss who sacrifices his {{Mooks}} any time they're [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness no longer useful]] or simply ForTheEvulz. Always a villain.

[[AC:Just the Tropes]]

(This index is sorted from most responsible to least responsible; please add new tropes accordingly.)

* TheMenFirst
* AFatherToHisMen
* RiskingTheKing
** HonorBeforeReason
** DeathSeeker
* GoingDownWithTheShip
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* TheChainsOfCommanding
* MissionControl
* OrcusOnHisThrone
* IDidWhatIHadToDo
* WeHaveReserves
* GloryHound
* BadBoss
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness

[[AC: Works that Feature this Scale or Movement along it]]
* ''TheLordOfTheRings'' has a recurring {{Aesop}} that sliding down this scale will slide you down others. Gandalf vs Saruman. Théoden vs Denethor. And [[BigBad Sauron]], when things got tough, would personally step onto the battlefield (though now he can't leave his tower at all).
* Redcloak's character development in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is mostly sliding up and down this. He starts as The Hammond, degrades into The Magneto under Xykon's influence and his own bigotry, then has his MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment and jumps up to The Théoden -- all [[VillainousValor without losing his villain status]].
* ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Previous films had established that Professor X is typically The Hammond on this scale, but during the FinalBattle, he moves up two steps and briefly becomes The Superman. When Apocalypse gives Charles a SadisticChoice--surrender, or Mystique and Quicksilver will die--Beast and Cyclops volunteer to rescue their teammates, but Xavier stops them because he would rather sacrifice himself than see anyone he cares about get hurt. This turns out to be an unacceptable option because Charles is the Earth's BarrierMaiden (and he obviously doesn't want to put billions of lives at risk), but he then challenges Apocalypse to a mind duel, which creates a much-needed distraction. [[spoiler:Xavier gets pummeled on the astral plane, and he only asks Jean Grey--whom he loves like a daughter and is naturally protective of her--to intervene when he knows he's dying.]]