Who do you think was the leader of the jury? Analyze his leadership on the following dimensions. For each, provide specific examples and support your answers with research.
Power and influence
Personality traits and intelligence
Human personality and personality traits are varied and the study of the same is extremely interesting as well as a learning experience itself. The leadership aspect of individuals, also endures this fact and the personality and behavioral patterns of an individual plays immensely important roles in shaping up the overall humane side as well as leadership capabilities of the same. It takes significant effort as well as some inherent qualities within an individual for him or her to emerge as a leader to a group of people or an organization (Russell III, 2012). A good personality shows significantly prominent traits in their personality, intelligence level, influence, power, behavior and communication with others and their overall skill sets. The assignment, by taking reference to the widely known classic film, the “12 Angry Men” tries to analyze the personality and leadership aspects of the different characters in the film. By analyzing the performance of the protagonists with respect to the above mentioned traits and criteria, the report tries to observe the best as well as the worst traits of the characters present in the film (Rose, 2016).
Juror 1: Martin Balsam
He was the foreman of the jury and took his authoritative role very seriously, by trying to be fairly justified.
Juror 2: John Fiedler
Being a bank clerk in profession, he was extremely timid and got influenced by what others feel about the situations.
Juror 3: Lee J. Cobb
A bad tempered, extremely impulsive and vocal person with his own perceptions which he was not ready to change under any circumstances. During Act 3 of the movie, the reason behind his irrational and rude behavior was revealed as his emotional baggage of poor relationship with his son was seen, which affected his judgments (Adler, Rodman & DuPré, 2016).
Juror 4: E. G. Marshall
Being practical and well-spoken stock-broker by profession, he engaged in rational arguments without getting involved in emotional discussion. This character showed a strong personality trait.
Juror 5: Jack Klugman
Growing up in slums, this person had experiences of witnessing knife fights, which helped the jury in reaching to the final solution. However, he felt nervous in publicly expressing his opinions in presence of the respected members in the jury.
Juror 6: Edward Binns
Extremely honest by nature and a house painter by profession, this person took time to reach to any conclusion and was apparently described as a “dull-witted” person (Jian, 2012).
Juror 7: Jack Warden
An extremely reluctant and to some extent obnoxious person, Jack, who was a salesman by trade, in the very fast act showed his indifference and irritation of being a part of the jury.
Juror 8: Henry Fonda
An architect by profession, this gentle natured and thoughtful person, from the very first act was observed to be devoted to justice and also appeared to be sympathetic towards the convicted boy. In fact, he in the initial scenario was the only one who voted not guilty for the boy while all the other jury members were against it. Henry, showed immense patience and strong convincing personality from beginning to end and appeared as one of the most impressive members of the jury (Waller, Sohrab & Ma, 2013).
Juror 9: Joseph Sweeney
This person though initially portrayed as one who had been defeated in every aspect of life, stood with Henry Fonda in his decision and also in the first act openly criticized the racist attitude of one of the jurors, thereby showing the presence of the sense of right and wrong in him.
Juror 10: Ed Begley
He was one of the most bitter and prejudiced old jury members. His attitude and bigotry to other jury members fetched him immense hatred and ignorance (Raw, 2017).
Juror 11: George Voskovec
Having a refugee background and witnessing injustices in his life, this member consistently showed intention to administer justice (Sang & Xu, 2012).
Juror 12: Robert Webber
An advertising executive by profession, this arrogant and impatient jury member did not passionately participate in the discussion and eagerly waited for the discussion to get over so that he can get back to his career and personal engagements (Klapp, 2017).
Juror 8 showed significant positive traits in the particular dimension of power and influence in leadership. The attitude of the person, from the very beginning of the movie, is seen to be strong, empathetic, convincing but not overtly exaggerating or boasting. In the beginning, he was the only one who voted in favor of the boy, while all of the other jury members were against it (Lunenburg, 2012). However, Juror 8 had the power of pursuing and the influential trait in his way of talking and analyzing the statements of each of the other members and the reasons behind their statements. He gained respect of nearly all the jury members due to his unbiased nature and his ability to look above petty personal issues and opinions to reach to the ultimate goal of finding the truth (Goncalves, 2013).
The approach of Juror 8 had been entirely logical and based on evidences and this influenced the others to think like him gradually. He led the entire tedious and long discussion by elaborating each of the members’ opinion impartially. Within middle of the movie, he was able to convince almost of the jury members to vote not guilty, which showed his power to influence peoples’ opinions in a subtle and practical manner, which is one of the predominant trait of a good leader. Therefore, it can be concluded that Juror 8 scored high in this dimension of leadership (Northouse, 2015).
On the other hand, the member of the jury showing the most ineffective leadership in terms of power and influence is the Juror 3. From the very first of part of the film, his character is seen to be having an autocratic kind of attitude. Being extremely proud of his achievements, in his body language he kept on asserting about how he leads his subordinates and in the current situation also he tries to exert that authoritative power (Daft, 2014). Being the primary opponent of Juror 8, he kept on trying though the entire procedure to intimidate other jury members and make them support his opinion. He could not accept the fact that someone can have a separate opinion than him. When the jurors started going against him for his loud, irrational and self-centered behavior he tried to speak to the jurors individually situations, specifically once to justify why he physically attacked Juror 8 and when he wanted to call for a hung jury (Johnson, 2017).
Juror 3 is the worst example of how a leader should try to influence others and exert power. He tries to exert his power by screaming and intimidating, thereby losing audience. His opinions were also not backed by any logic but he expected everyone to accept his opinions.
In making any kind of judgment presence of ethics and values are of extreme importance in making unbiased judgment. This is because an ethical judge tries to take into account all the aspects of a situation and does not make opinion about the convict without paying heed to all the evidences. In this context, also one of the best example in the jury members is the Juror8 (Johnson, 2017).
In the movie, the main ethical dilemma faced by each of the Jury members is whether or not to plead guilty for the eighteen years old boy. Given such a situation, Juror 8 shows strong ethical traits. From the very beginning, he remained as the one fighting for the boy, trying to fetch justice for him. When all the other team members made their opinions against the boy, because he had been convicted of a murder, Juror 8 fought for the boy from the very beginning based on the notion that the boy cannot be pleaded guilty unless all the evidences are found to be against him. This shows the presence of a humane aspect of the Juror 8 and the presence of virtues and values as he tried to fight for fairness for a fellow citizen, rising above the petty personal fights and biases (Reamer, 2013).
However, in the aspect of ethics and values, another member of the jury also showed impressive traits. This member is the Juror 9. Though being thought to be the mildest man, defeated by life, this old man came in support of Juror 8 before any other jury (Ransome, 2013). When Juror 10 portrayed a racist attitude, he also countered openly against that, which shows the presence of ethics and values in his character. Juror 11 also had an ethical perspective, as being a witness of injustice himself, he tried to administer justice in this case.
While the above mention personalities showed presence of virtues, there were also some members in the jury whose approaches were unethical and incorrect such a sensitive issue. One of the primary jury members scoring low in this aspect is Juror 3. There is no presence of virtue in his character as he was least bothered about the future of the convicted. He had tremendously negative notions about the youth in general, which reflected in his judgment and opinions regarding the convicted as he made his opinion even before assessing the evidences and opinions of the witnesses. During the process of debate, when he felt that his influence over the other jury member were being curbed by Juror 8, he also tried to hurt him physically, which is extremely unethical and inappropriate in any situation (Akhtar, 2012). His unethical behavior also becomes apparent in his loud and intimidating behavior, which goes on aggravating with time.
Though Juror 3 can be deemed as the most unethical juror in this case, there were also several other members in the jury, whose approach also had unethical components in it. Firstly, except Juror 8, in the beginning all the jury members were in the notion of pleading the boy guilty just based on their personal opinions and judgment. This, in the context of providing judgment, can be treated as unethical behavior as no one tried to analyze the situation taking into perspective the circumstances of the boy and the sufferings he had been facing (Cooper, 2012). Juror 10 also showed behavior of low value by indulging in bigotry to other jury members, which showed his racist and unethical attitude.
A good leader is characterized by a strong, impressive and attractive personality and presence of mind. For a leader to be efficient in achieving his goals, it is of immense importance for him to be intelligent and to take actions according to the situations without losing his temper. The personality of Juror 8, from the very beginning of the film was not very much relation oriented and did not influence the fellow jury members from the very beginning (Collis & Messick, 2012). Instead, it was Juror 1, the foreman of the jury, who seemed to be far more extrovert and socializing from the very beginning. In fact Juror 1 was the one who suggested the consideration of a five minutes break for the person who went to the washroom during the proceeding of the debate.
However, as the film proceeds, the strong, practical and extremely thoughtful side of the personality of Juror 8 unfolds. Along with that, the personality traits of Juror 3 were also revealed slowly, which were found to be entirely different and opposite to that of the Juror 8. These personalities can be analyzed on the basis of the theory of Big Five Personality Traits, which includes openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism (Ang & Van Dyne, 2015).
Openness- High openness, in this context, can be actually the portrayal of a less target-oriented approach where as scoring low in this aspect depicts pragmatic personality. In this context, Juror 8 shows high target orientation, as his ultimate objective was to bring out unbiased justice for the convict, for which the members actually accumulated. On the other hand, Juror 3 was founded to be extremely close-minded, only sticking to his personal opinion and not ready to accommodate any other member’s point of view, thereby scoring extremely low in this index (Barlett & Anderson, 2012).
Conscientiousness- Juror 8 neither showed extremely high conscientiousness, nor low. He was methodical and organized but not stubborn in his approach as he accepted others’ opinions and viewpoints and countered them logically. On the other hand, he was not unfairly flexible as he kept on sticking to his point and went on convincing the other members to think in his line. Juror 3 on the other hand scored high in this dimension to the extent of stubbornness.
Agreeableness- In this aspect also, Juror 8 showed consistent trend and was neither extremely high nor extremely low agreeing. While Juror 8 showed enough compassion and dedication and was one of the most amiable personalities in this context, he was not compassionate to the extent of being called naïve. Juror 3, on the other hand, being extremely competitive (as can be seen from his tendency to compete against Juror 8 in every aspect) scored extremely low in this dimension.
Extraversion- Juror 8 had a personality which was extrovert and amiable but not attention seeking. He conversed with all the members of the jury freely but at the same time his personality reflected the traits of a good listener too. Juror 3, on the other hand, also showed high score in the dimension of extraversion, as his personality showed immense extraversion. However, his extraversion was not productive, he was loud and arrogant in spite of being energetic and outgoing, and his sole objective was to assert his opinion as the right one and pursue others by any means to follow his judgment.
Neuroticism- The personality of Juror 8 had shown both sensitivity (which is considered to be high in Neuroticism dimension) as well as confident about his opinion (which again falls in the lower scale of neuroticism). Thus, it can be asserted that Juror 8 maintains a balance in this dimension. However, Juror 3 showed anger, anxiety and emotional instability, thereby ranking high in this dimension (Cobb-Clark & Schurer, 2012).
The aspect of intelligence of the above discussed members, with totally different personality traits can be analyzed with the help of the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence, as proposed by Sternberg, which consists of three sub-theories, namely, Componential, Experiential and Practical.
Componential or Analytical Sub-theory- This highlights the gift of human intelligence to see the problem in hand from angles which are usually unexplored and to come out with unconventional solutions, which can be seen to be present in the Juror 8 and highly absent in Juror 3.
Experiential Sub-theory- This aspect tries to analyze the ability of an individual to execute any task with consistent dedication and creativity, which can be seen to be again present in Juror 8. He kept on convincing the other jury members to think in his line, using the methods of subtle persuasion, which were not conventionally used by any other jury members, but which proved to be effective. Juror 3, on the other hand, failed miserably in this index due to his stubbornness and rigidity (Nisbett et al., 2012).
Practical Sub-Theory- This theory, again, has three components namely adaptation, shaping and selection. Adaptation refers to the intelligence of changing oneself according to the need of the situation, which could be seen in Juror 8 and also to some extent in Juror 3, as he tried to change his approach in the later part of the movie, when he realized that the other jury members were going against him. Shaping refers to the ability of one person to change the situations according to the need of their fellow mates, which could be seen in Juror 8 and also in Juror 1, as they made everyone comfortable during the progress of the debate. This was absolutely absent in Juror 3 as well as Juror 10.
The behavioral aspect of a leader is one of the most important attribute, having immense implications on the performance of the person as a leader as well as on the people who are led by the concerned individual. Juror 8 is seen to stay absolute calm throughout the entire proceeding of the arguments. He was seen to be polite and respectful to his fellow jury members, which impressed many of them as they slowly started thinking in his way. His behavioral side also exhibits empathy. This is because he constantly evokes thought in other jurors’ mind by pleading them to imagine themselves in the situation of the teenager, who had grown up in a slum, experienced immense physical abuse from his father and had been awaiting death penalty for a murder which may have been circumstantial and not intentional (Bailey & Burch, 2017). This, therefore, shows that Juror 8 also scores high in the behavioral dimension of leadership. In this aspect, Juror 1, Juror 4 as well as Juror 9 also showed positive traits as during the entire process, their approached remained more or less polite and accommodating. Juror 5 also appeared to be helpful, in spite of being nervous, as in the later part he tried to help the jurors with his experiences of knife fights.
Juror 3, in the entire movie, had shown an extremely negative side of human personality traits, in terms of behavior, as everything in his behavioral approach, starting from his way of communication, to the way he thought about the fellow members and in the presence of extreme biasness and personal biasness. Along with him, the obnoxious behavior of Juror 7, the abhorrent and insulting, racist attitude of Juror 10 and the arrogant and restless behavior of Juror 12 also fall under this category.
This dimension of leadership specifically emphasizes on the skills which are inherently present in an individual and which one acquires in the process of becoming a good leader. Good leadership skills primarily include honesty, communication, commitment, confidence, dedication to the cause and an overall positive attitude towards the problem. This is highly visible in the traits of Juror 8, as in the entire movie he showed extreme calmness and confidence in his actions. His skills were also apparent in the way he remained committed to bring out justice for the convict and worked with confidence, communicating effectively with all the other members of the group and incorporating all their views and justifying his opinion against them. Juror 1, the foreman of the jury, also showed these skills to some extent (Eragula, 2015).
On the other hand, as is extremely evident from the above discussion, Juror 3 showed the worst leadership skills in this context, with his extremely self-centered and arrogant behavior and his tendency to get his work done by force and not by mutual compliance.
From the above discussion, it is evident that the film, “Twelve Angry Men”, is an exemplary work, which displays the different hues and colors of human psychology and emotional sides. Each of the characters in the film shows unique yet common traits observable in everyday life. However, in terms of different aspects of leadership and personality traits, two exactly opposite characters, one of Juror 8 and the other one of Juror 3 grabs special attention and emerges as two of the most important and noticeable protagonists in the film, which itself is a manifestation of human personality traits.
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