12 O Clock High Leadership Analysis

1897 Words 8 Pages
Sometimes, being a leader is not always about being popular. The movie 12 O’clock High, directed by Henry King, reflects this and other leadership themes throughout its entirety. The movie shows multiple leadership styles from different officers, but it primarily focuses on the leadership of Colonel Davenport, General Pritchard, and Brigadier General Savage. Each of these officers use diverse types of leadership tactics to ensure that the 918th Bomb Group is successful in their missions. Each of them use distinctive styles of leadership to do their best to make sure their followers are efficient in the situation they are put in. The movie 12 O’clock High displays the use of reward, coercive, and authoritarian leadership style through these …show more content…
General Pritchard had a great understanding of transformational leadership. When the 918th continued to endure problems, General Pritchard could use reasoning to determine that the leadership of the group needed to change. Even though General Pritchard cared about Colonel Davenport and understood that he was a good man, he still made the rational decision to replace him with Brigadier General Savage. General Pritchard also uses consultation tactics with Brigadier General Savage as he discussed the problem with him and looks for his opinion and presence during the talk with Colonel Davenport. However, General Pritchard’s leadership style seems to be more of a result only style. It seems like General Pritchard should have come to visit the 918th Bomb Group sooner when they first started having issues. Instead it seems like General Pritchard only came down once, and during that time a relieved Colonel Davenport, which was a huge blow to moral. This may have caused the men at the bomb group to see the General as a negative figure, which does not build loyalty toward him. While General Pritchard probably was a very busy man, more visits to the bomb group to simply increase morale could have made a notable change to the climate at the bomb group. Nevertheless, the decision to switch up the leadership at the 918th Bomb Group shows General Pritchard’s understanding of …show more content…
Being a cheerleader and being a result only leader both have their negative and positive consequences. Colonel Davenport and Brigadier General Savage both become very close to their followers near the end of their time with the 918th Bomb Group, which makes their follower’s deaths throughout combat even harder to deal with. It also makes it harder for them to be strict to their followers, because they become basically family. Having a family dynamic with one’s followers can be a good thing, but if it is taken too far it can lead to stressful consequences for the leader. Brigadier General Savage and General Pritchard both showed coercive and authority based leadership, but these traits were most prevalent in Brigadier General Savage. Brigadier General Savage could get the results he wanted with these tactics, but it came at the cost of the moral of the bomb group. The leaders in this movie were unable to match their leadership styles with their followers and the situation they were put in, which is not necessarily to their fault. Being able to match leadership style with the followers in a situation where the followers are dying at an alarming rate is a tricky thing to do. In conclusion, to achieve the right leadership style that compliments the followers one is leading, one must maintain a balance between being a rewarding

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