Many people in this world have power and influence. Yet, there are few who have the traits needed to be an incredible leader. These people who are positive leaders tend to leave strong impressions in our minds for years or maybe even a lifetime. In choosing a movie with a character that portrayed a strong sense of power and influence, and possessed the traits of a good leader, I remembered a character that left an admirable impression in my mind.
Saving Private Ryan is a perfect example of a movie with all of the elements of powerful and influential leaders. Specifically, Tom Hanks who plays Captain John Miller is a strong willed individual with a commitment to his country. He leads his troop through battlefields and dangerous predicaments during World War II. It is his knowledge of combating the enemy, which leads him into a precarious situation.
Captain Miller is assigned the difficult task of finding Private Ryan who is missing along with most of his troop, which was divided after an attack. The reason for the mission is because Private Ryan’s three brothers had just died in the war. Private Ryan is to be sent home immediately. The rest of the events that unfold entail tragedies and accomplishments that lead to Captain Miller’s final command.
Looking back at how Captain Miller was a powerful leader throughout the movie is evident in most everything that he does. He was a legitimate Captain with much training in his position as an authoritative figure. With every command that he gives, he exerts his power.
According to French and Raven (1960), there are five types of power. They are reward, coercive, legitimate, expert, and referent power. It is easy to apply each one of these types of power to Captain Miller and his approach to leadership.
The first type of power, reward power, is the potential of an organization or member in a specified role to offer positive incentives for good behavior. In an organization these incentives may include bonuses, vacations, or promotions. The incentives may vary from one member of a role to another.
Captain Miller may have exerted reward power by giving his soldiers easier work when they behaved properly. Another way that he may have used this power is by allowing them to take breaks when they should have kept go...
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...e stable emotions, and is less defensive. He did not get caught up in what was actually happening too often. Whenever a time like this came about, he stopped to gather himself so that he could be a good leader for the rest of the troop.
When a person’s behavior is consistent with expressed values and that person is honest and trustworthy, they are said to have integrity. Captain Miller was completely honest with his men. He was also someone who could be trusted. At one point in the movie, one of the soldiers told the Captain a very personal story about their life. Since he was a good leader, he listened and gave the soldier advice on the subject.
One of the most important traits that Captain Miller had was his intellect. He was smarter than the average person was. He came up with brilliant ideas to stop the enemy. His troop listened to him and obeyed him because they knew that he was knowledgeable in what he was talking about.
Captain Miller was a powerful and influential leader. He led his men through some of the hardest times of the war. Not only did he display the five types of power, he showed that he had all of the traits necessary to be an extraordinary leader.
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