In my opinion, it’s got to be Jean-Luc Picard. He had the confidence a captain needs while still respecting the crew. I’d rank the four most prominent Starfleet captains as follows:
James T. Kirk
Picard is the person I’d be most likely to follow orders from. I find James Kirk to be more arrogant than confident, and I don’t think I’d trust my life to someone who didn’t have a healthy respect for the dangers we were facing.
Captain Sisko is the best character of the bunch, in my opinion. However, he still wasn’t a great leader. As captain, he was required to make fast decisions, but some of the decisions he made would have gone over better had he shared his reasoning with the crew. I wouldn’t like blindly following orders, even if they did turn out to be the correct ones in the end.
Janeway is the captain that I wouldn’t follow. When I say that, I’m usually accused of sexism. That’s not it. One of the greatest captains in Star Trek was the captain of the Enterprise C from the Next Generation episode Yesterday’s Enterprise. Even while lying on her death bed in sickbay, this woman commanded more respect and seemed to have more authority than I’ve ever seen from Janeway. She seemed like a captain, but Janeway doesn’t. Janeway seems to patronize any crew member who questions her orders, using psychology to make them back off instead of reason. Perhaps my opinion would be different if I’d seen more than a dozen episodes of Voyager, but this is my opinion now.
What’s your opinion?