13 September 2010 1 Comment

Lost Leader

LOST 3ABC’s hit television series LOST completed its 6-year run last season, but the buzz continues. Some people are even watching the entire series a second time. And for good reason. This well-crafted epic contains several intertwined plot lines, and is worthy of multiple viewings and discussions.

(For those rolling your eyes, hang with me. You can enjoy some leadership insights without watching a single show.)

SPOILER ALERT: This post draws on some of the big surprises, especially in Season 6.

Some natural leaders emerge from among the LOST characters, but shortcomings limit their impact:

  1. Jack is an expert spinal surgeon and thinks therefore he is expert in all things. His pathological addiction to fix things interferes with his ability to delegate and to see his own limitations.
  2. Sawyer’s “every man for himself” style uses power and intimidation to extract what he wants from others.
  3. Then there’s Ben, whose deeply rooted need for affirmation drives his manipulation of others.

 My leadership hero is Hurley.

Surprised? Consider some of his unique qualities:

  • Initiative – It is Hurley who comes up with the census idea which ultimately reveals Ethan as an intruder. Just the first of many times he makes a valuable contribution by inserting himself into a situation.
  • Persistence – Despite repeatedly being told that he is of no use and will just get in the way, Hurley continues to find a way to contribute.
  • Ingenuity – Who would think that a fat guy in a VW bus could save his five unarmed friends on the beach. And the golf course idea was a brilliant breakthrough!
  • Strong Moral Convictions – I lost count of the times I heard the line, “Dude, that’s not right.”
  • Humility – His unassuming manner (almost a reluctance to lead) is one of Hurley’s best leadership qualities – perhaps the reason Jacob ultimately entrusts the island to him. Hurley leads with pure motives.

Does your leadership selection process take into consideration such important qualities?  Or does it highlight only the attractive “natural” leaders like Jack, Sawyer and Ben.  

I believe the most valuable leaders with staying power have character qualities like Hurley.

 What About You?

  • Have you ever been surprised when an “unlikely leader” has turned out to make a significant leadership contribution?
  • Have you ever been recognized (or stepped over) because your leadership qualities didn’t match the typical leadership model?

Leave a Reply below and tell us your story.

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One Response to “Lost Leader”

  1. Emily 20 September 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Great thoughts from a great show, especially for those who like the show enough to watch entire seasons over!

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