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Leadership in “12 Angry Men” Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Apr 2nd, 2019

Leadership is a notion which can acquire various forms for its demonstration as a quality. The plot of 12 Angry Men directed by William Friedkin is the representation of the play by Reginald Rose.

It gives the audience the opportunity to examine several types of leaders which are depicted in the film. The most interesting among them is the figure of Juror # 8 who is one of the central characters of the story and represents the qualities of such a leader who is able to motivate others to achieve definite goals beneficial for the whole group.

Being involved in the discussion of the case about a young man accused in murdering his father, Juror # 8 demonstrates the leader’s traits which require their further analysis.

Thus, Juror’s concern with the impact is not represented directly because his leadership is not stated openly. However, it is given as the general official authority which he has as a juror.

The main concepts which can be recognizable as important patterns in his words are the notions connected with the nonconformity and prejudice which have rather broad meanings.

Moreover, Juror # 8 is oriented to finding the most appropriate solution to the problem insisting on the necessity of the verdict’s discussion as the best way to avoid the tragedy.

In this situation he also reveals his proactivity and controls the discussion with asking a series of provocative questions to the jurors. Furthermore, Juror # 8 accentuates the fact they are gathered not only to discuss the verdict but also to decide the life of this young man which is the most important aspect of the issue.

In spite of the fact that Juror # 8 seems to be adaptable to the opinions of the other jurors, he is rather decisive in his following the line of the discussion which is developed by him. Juror # 8 uses the principles of the effective communication and absolute self-control to convince the jurors to develop their opinions with the base on their personal background without paying attention to the possible biases which prevent them from discussing the issue objectively.

Moreover, he succeeds in encouraging the group of jurors to work together to find the solution and persuade them to think rationally. This technique helps him create the alliances with focusing on the quiet members and their opposites.

In the process of the discussion the number of the groups’ members is changed according to the development of the conversation. The concentration on the rational ideas and reasonable doubts helps him and his team remain objective in their considerations.

In addition to Juror # 8, the leadership’s credibility is shown by Juror # 3 who is opposite to Juror # 8. However, his leadership is mainly based on the principles of strict decisiveness and proactivity without references to the rationality and objectivity because he is oriented to his personal experience.

Juror # 8 reveals the high level of ‘concern for people’ and ‘concern for task’ because he tries to create the supportive climate for the discussion, he is opened to the jurors’ viewpoints, and his main aim is to find the rational solution to the problem on which the life of the defendant depends.

Thus, his leadership style is coaching or participative which he uses for the group development. It consists of the stage when the jurors communicate informally before the discussion, the storming after the jurors’ voting and the discussion in which Juror # 8 involves all the members with the help of thought-provoking questions, the norming and performing which are indirectly controlled by Juror # 8.

Nevertheless, the leadership of Juror # 1 as a nominal leader can be considered as delegating because he wants to avoid the conflict of opinions and to accept any possible decision. Besides, Juror # 6 is inclined to use ‘gobbledygook’ in order to mask his inability to argument his viewpoint.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Leadership in “12 Angry Men”'. 2 April.

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