Hazel knows that Blackberry is the smartest of them all, so he when faces a situation that he cannot figure out, he turns to Blackberry. Likewise, Bigwig is the strongest rabbit and the one who knows the most about predators and the world outside of the warren. Hazel looks to Bigwig for advice and respects his opinions, but he also knows that sometimes subtlety is needed, while Bigwig is a very direct rabbit. Furthermore, Hazel listens to Fiver's advice and lets the visionary set the destination for the group, even if he himself must find the path to get there. Hazel carefully thinks out his moves and tries to do things that will make everyone happy. However, there are still times when no one knows what to do or where to go, and it is in these moments that Hazel proves his mettle. At the river, Hazel is confused, but Blackberry figures out a way to get them all across. Hazel is the first to run at the crow, but it is Bigwig who does the damage, while Hazel himself might not fare so well. Yet when everyone is in low spirits and it seems that they will never leave the woodlands behind, Hazel drives the group on by his strength of will alone and makes them believe that they must keep going. He is vindicated when the rabbits come upon an ideal- looking field.
Hazel has the intangible qualities that make a good leader, and it is already clear that his group of rabbits is a very different one from the group they left behind. Hazel does not privilege any member of the group, and he is not willing to leave anyone. He uses the strengths of each as best he can to enhance the progress of the group, but he is also willing to listen to whatever any of the other rabbits have to say. Hazel makes Bigwig explain to him about the cars and the road because he is aware of the fact that he must learn as much as he can in order to be prepared in the future. His goal is not the establishment of personal power, but rather the establishment of a new home for himself and the others.