M4A1: Essay – Evaluating Success as a Leader and a Follower

“The story’s great irony is that once Nicholson successfully stands up to Saito, he immediately devotes himself to Saito’s project as if it is his own. He suggests a better site for the bridge, he offers blueprints and timetables, and he even enters Clipton’s hospital hut in search of more workers, and marches out at the head of a column of the sick and the lame. On the night before the first train crossing, he hammers into place a plaque boasting that the bridge was ‘designed and built by soldiers of the British army.’

It is Clipton who asks him, diffidently, if they might not be accused of aiding the enemy. Not at all, Guinness replies: War prisoners must work when ordered, and besides, they are setting an example of British efficiency. ’One day the war will be over, and I hope the people who use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built, and who built it.’ A pleasant sentiment, but in the meantime the bridge will be used to advance the war against the Allies. Nicholson is so proud of the bridge that he essentially forgets about the war.”

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Ebert, R. (1999, April 18.) The Bridge on the River Kwai. Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-bridge-on-the-river-kwai-195

Some viewers of the film will look at Nicholson as a hero; others see him as a villain. He is wildly successful in some aspects of his leadership and spectacularly unsuccessful in others.

Compose a well-written essay of 1000-1250 words in APA format (Links to an external site.) in which you:

Apply an understanding of leadership skills and styles we have examined in Modules 1-4 and evaluate in what ways Nicholson succeeded and failed as a leader.
Utilize Kelley’s five primary followership styles, discussed in the Module 4 Notes, and assess how the men under Nicholson’s command succeeded and/or failed (or both) as followers.

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