I was out with the flu last week. I quickly learned that between the body ache, headache, and fever, the only thing I was going to be able to do was watch something. As a reader, this was pretty disappointing, but you go with the cards you’re dealt. I picked a TV show that I hadn’t watched before, Alias. A spy show mixed with a little Indiana Jones “find lost artifacts” twists and turns. As I watched the first three seasons, I observed a few leadership styles.
Alias Leadership Styles
- The “Improviser” (Sydney Bristow) - Sydney is the main character on Alias and as a spy, she continually finds herself is difficult situations. Many times the original plan doesn’t work out, so she has to improvise her way out of a sticky situation. Many times improvising pays off, but other times it doesn’t and the mission is a failure.
- The “Get it Done No Matter What” Leader (Jack Bristow) - Jack is Sydney’s father and he’s also a spy. He will do whatever it takes to protect her and the mission. This causes him to make some compromising choices, but for him the end justifies the means.
- The “Well Studied” Leader (Marshall Flinkman) - Marshall is the tech geek of the team. He invents all of the cool spy gear that the team uses on missions. He’s also a genius and has studied just about everything in the science world. His knowledge pays off as he is able to make decisions quickly, even while under pressure.
- The “Manipulator” (Arvin Sloane) - Arvin is the notorious bad guy (at least in the first three seasons). His main leadership style is manipulation. Because of this, no one really trusts him and very few people like him.
All of the styles have their strengths and weaknesses. And a good leader will have a mix of styles that they lean on when making decisions.
The best leaders understand when to stick with the plan and when to improvise so the mission is accomplished.
The best leaders understand that “getting things done” is important in leadership. They also understand that character is essential as a leader and some compromises must never be made.
The best leaders are well studied and continually learning so they can grow in their ability to lead.
The best leaders manipulate not from a selfish standpoint, but by skillfully casting a vision of what could and should be so that others follow them to the preferred future.
Any Alias fans out there? What leadership styles did you see in the show?