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Thoughts on “Ender’s Game”

In the movie “Ender’s Game” there are several leaders.  I feel that Colonel Graff, Colonel Anderson, Ender and Bonzo were all leaders.  Colonel Graff was in charge of recruiting and training cadets to fight the enemy, the Formics.  Colonel Anderson was in charge of the emotional well-being of the children that were being trained for war.  Ender was sent to command school after showing much promise of being able to help defeat the enemy and was made a leader over a group of cadets.  Bonzo was another child who was a leader of a group of cadets.

Colonel Graff was an effective leader at times.  He was given an assignment to find a cadet who could win the war against the Formics.  He took his assignment very seriously and did what was necessary to accomplish the end goal.  When he was certain that Ender was the child who could defeat the enemy he put all of his focus on training him to accomplish this.  He monitored everything that Ender did.

Colonel Anderson was a compassionate leader.  She wanted the cadets, especially Ender, to be able to learn and succeed but not at the expense of their emotional health.

Ender was a leader who understood that he did not have all of the answers.  He asked his team to offer their ideas to him as well. He was kind to those around him, even those that he didn’t like as well.

In the workplace there are times when there are tasks that have to be accomplished and it is up to the leader to make sure the correct staff and ideas are in place to accomplish this, even when the end goal may not be the vision of the staff.  The work environment is enhanced, though, when there is a degree of compassion and concern for the well-being of the staff.  I feel that people respond so much better to leadership when they know that their feelings are heard and they are cared about.  When management acknowledges that they are not the only people with ideas and the views and the ideas of the team are acknowledged and used it becomes a great work environment.

Bonzo did not like his authority to be questioned.  He did not like the fact that Ender may some ideas that were better than his.  He threatened Ender as his manager and did not want him to learn as he felt felt threatened himself by someone whose ideas may be better than his own.  Colonel Graff showed some weaknesses in leadership when his focus on the end goal became more important than the people who he was in charge of.  These types of leadership lead to poor morale and to an increase in turnover rates.

I really aspire to be the type of leader who takes into consideration the feelings and ideas of other staff in working toward goals but can be firm about everyone on the team accomplishing the tasks that have been assigned.