Surviving Leadership

I am a huge fan of the show Survivor. One of the things that is most intriguing is not the fact that they are on a “stranded island” starving for food and competing in challenges. The most intriguing part is how they bring together 20 strangers, and on Day 1, leadership roles immediately start to form. Because this is a game where ultimately 19 people will be voted off, there are some who actively shy away from the role of leader because they don’t want to stick their necks out. On the other hand, their are some who step up and lead the team.

In the 19th season of Survivor, the producers decided to mix it up a little, and they required both tribes to elect an official leader of their tribe instead of seeing what plays out. Based off of appearances alone, they had to choose someone:

The new leaders definitely took to their leadership roles a little differently:



Although the setting is a little different, I still see both of these leaders in education. Although Mick was playing a game and seemingly more worried about his own skin, there are leaders who seem to be just going through the motions. I know test scores are a major part of what we do, but if this is the only focus, they may be checking their boxes, but they are also just trying to survive their leadership role. Russell full heartedly took on the role of leader. He didn’t just want to survive the role of leader, but rather flourish in this position. He wanted his team to succeed (even though it is more of an individual game). One of his tribe members threw out all the key traits of a good leader from our class discussion: motivational, supportive, open-minded, trustworthy. Russell was thrown into this leadership role and just took it on. In a game where everything is cut-throat, he brought his tribe together. His tribe dominated the game until his ultimate medical evacuation from the game. Coincidentally, their tribe fell apart after his departure being voted off 8 out of the next 10 tribal council meetings… Is education just as cut-throat, but in different ways? How can we change those leaders who are just trying to survive?

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