Aim. The aim of the study is to describe the mechanism and reasons for developing victim behavior in the leader, as well as the presence of the victim role in the social role of the leader. Methodology. The author analyzes the theoretical views on the leadership qualities structure as well as an analysis of views on the formation of victim behavior and the results of an experiment, which involved 30 groups of students of various specialties studying pedagogics. The purpose of the experiment conducted in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years, was to identify stereotype ideas about the ideal leader, the students had to describe the characteristics of an ideal leader. Results. The analysis showed that the image of a leader is a cross-cultural and cross-temporal phenomenon. The situation in which the need for leadership is activated is connected with a crisis in the group, which is a necessary condition for the appearance of persecuting stereotypes that can be used against the group leader, victimizing him. The author presents the transformation of leadership traits under the influence of changed circumstances into a model of victim behavior. As a result of the research, a model for the formation of victim behavior in the leader is proposed and the inclusion of the victim component in the social role of the leader is justified.Research implications. The theoretical value of the research is defining the leader as a dynamic social role, which under the influence of negative circumstances transforms into a model of victim behavior. The practical significance of the research is the possibility of using the results in the course “Methods of teaching leadership”.