Leadership In 12 Angry Men Essay

1335 words - 5 pages

In the film 12 Angry Men, a group of twelve jurors are deciding the fate of a young boy accused of murdering his father. Throughout the juries dilleration, one man exhibits all of the qualities of leadership. This man is juror number 8 played by Henry Fonda. Fonda not only exhibits the the 10 qualities of a leader but he uses these qualities to lead the entire jury to a vote of not guilty (Fonda & Lumet, 1957).

Early on in the film Fonda shows the first quality of leadership vision. Vision can be defined as the leaders ability to know what is needed and how what is needed can be achieved (book). In the case of 12 Angry Men, Henry Fonda has a vision that he and the other jurors have the responsibility to consider the facts in the case and entertain the possibility that the young man may had not killed his father. An example of his vision can be found in his statement that “We're not convinced. We want to hear them again. We have as much time as it takes” (Fonda & Lumet, 1957). Here Fonda shows that there is no time limit to getting the verdict right which is a need associated with his vision.

The next quality of ability is also exhibited by Fonda throughout the film. By definition ability of a leader is their fortitude to know what is needed in the position as leader and that they are able to perform that role (book). A good example of Fonda displaying this quality is in his actions as a juror. As Fonda argues with and explains events to the other jurors he shows that he has the ability to lead the other in discussions. He is able to get his points across to the other which as we know eventually leads to the complete reversal of the groups initial guilty votes (Fonda & Lumet, 1957).

Next is the quality of enthusiasm by which Fonda has no short supply of. Enthusiasm for a leader is how they are able to bring other to follow them (book). For Fonda the entire film is him doing just that. Being that Fonda what the only one at the beginning to vote not guilty, he used his enthusiasm to bring the rest of the jurors over to his way of think. A good example of this is how he convinced juror number 9 (the old man) that there could be doubt in the witness that was an older gentleman like he was. By showing juror 9 that there were flaws in the evidence and the witnesses he was able to gain another follower. His enthusiasm for getting the ruling right is what drove him to be able to make this happen time and time again with every juror (Fonda & Lumet, 1957).

Next we are introduced to Fonda’s leadership quality of Stability. Stability is the quality of a leader to discern emotions from fact and keep personal beliefs separate from the task at hand (book). In the film we see this when Fonda discerns that racism of another juror is not acceptable. He says to juror 6 that “it's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this” (Fonda & Lumet, 1957). In this statement he is showing his own abilities to discern what prejudice...

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