"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
The movie that we watched during the fifth week of class, Alive, was the most suspenseful, powerful, and realistic movie I have seen to date. If I did not know beforehand that this story was based on a true story, I would have never thought that it was possible for that many people to survive such a horrific and disastrous ordeal, for such a long time; especially under the horrible conditions they were in. Although this event was indeed a tragedy, it allowed individuals to display various roles of leadership, which is why the movie was very relevant and important in our class. The movie enabled the class to take what we have been reading in a textbook, and then visualize the many different leadership roles carried out in real life situations. What I felt was the movies greatest contribution to us as a class, was it enabled the class to engage in a tremendous amount of discussion about something that we could all relate to; as watching the movie Alive was an experience that we all had in common.
The first leader we saw in the movie (who I will refer to as leader #1, because I do not remember the character names) established him as a leader soon after the airplane crashed in the snowy Andes Mountains. Leader #1 had many different leadership qualities that I would like to discuss.
Leader #1 was a directive leader, in the sense that he organized the troops initially when things were chaotic, people were dying, severely injured, as others were simply scared, shocked, or mentally unstable. Leader #1 was somewhat educated in the medical
field, which enabled him to assist people with gruesome cuts, broken bones, while mobilizing others whom had internal injuries. He was directive in the sense that he was able to keep the group focused on the important issues, and the tasks that needed to be accomplished, such as assisting the injured, and calming the tense.
I would label leader #1 as a situational leader as well. A situational leader is defined as someone who can match leaderships' styles and/or techniques to the readiness of the group members. The most obvious example was even though the airplane crash was sudden, unexpected, and shocking, leader #1 was willing, ready, and able to apply tactics that fit that particular situation, even though he had never really been trained to do so. Another example that comes to mind was when he went around to see who was injured and who was not. The individuals who were not injured were initially to afraid to take action and help out others, but leader #1 used encouragement, displayed calmness, and motivated others to assist him with the wounded. This was a combination of directive and situational leadership.
Had leader #1 not been so assertive and taken the initiative I feel this entire situation would have been even worse than it was. Taking more of a facilitative role, and allowing others to take action, would have been costly; it was very apparent when the airplane first crashed that nobody else was going to be able to immediately step up and assume any sort of leadership role.
Leader #1 also did little "things", things that do one would not immediately think of, that solidified his leadership role. One "little thing" would be the decision he made to feed unconscious individuals, who seemed like they were on the verge of dying. At that
time there was little food left, even for the conscious individuals ( as they had not yet considered eating the deceased human beings), but he felt that as long as someone was breathing, they had the right to their share of the food. This decision, in my mind, could have possibly been the smartest move he made, as the unconscious individual he fed turned out to be the hero and savior. After all, when he did leave it up to the others they ate all of the food. Even though they were expecting to be rescued the following day, it turned out they were saved almost two months later.
Leader #1 was also a good leader in the sense that he was able to encourage and root for his peers, as he did not find
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Leadership, Industrial and organizational psychology, Social psychology, Political philosophy, Leader, Three levels of leadership model, Trait leadership
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