You have to be asleep these days to have missed all of the hype surrounding the release of the first Hunger Games movie. If you haven’t read the books, they aren’t just for kids. They are well written, fast paced and jammed with excitement.
Katniss, the young woman forced to compete in a reality TV game which requires that the teenage contestants kill each other, who eventually becomes the face of a revolution, is representative of the reluctant leader. Katniss is a leader because she cares about others, refusing to let injustice harm those she loves. She has a deep empathy for those around her. She does not want to lead, but her sense of duty to others, not any need to be the centre of attention is what makes people want to follow her.
It is Katniss’ empathy for others, it is her integrity, her grit, her focus and her ability to think quickly in extreme conditions, her sense of justice that make her a leader. But most of all, it is her selflessness, her lack of ego that makes her a compelling character. Katniss sacrifices and takes risks for others, not for herself.
As leaders, we need to have empathy for others, a sense of justice, a belief in the importance of others to successfully lead others. We know that people respond to visions that are about social and emotional welfare of the organization and society, not about the greatness of the leader or importance of the self. Katniss’ expressed her concern about society every time she defied the authorities. As a leader, are you more concerned about yourself, or the welfare of your followers and society?