Leadership lessons from Lost

One of IMDb’s highest rated shows, Lost, could teach us a thing or two about Leadership.

To give a brief about the show, it is about a group of people stranded on an island after a plane crash. The island has its unique challenges to deal with and people, of course, tend to be people.

While I have my favourite character(s), as will all of you who have watched or will later watch this show, there are a few important characteristics worth observing of a true Leader.

A true Leader is Compassionate.

A true Leader is Co-operative.

A true Leader is Pragmatic.

But most of all,

A true Leader is Self-Sacrificing.

In a world where compassion is seen as a sign of weakness, Jack’s approach, as a Leader, was as “weak” as it could be. He had the time, and inclination, to check up on everyone to see how all of them were dealing with such a trauma. Understanding that not all people coped the same way, he had the patience and willingness to deal with each individual and take their views in the scheme of things.

Hurley is a classic case of “let’s all walk together”. While not as domineering or outright as the others, he led the group where consensus was a key part of the equation. As a self-doubting person, he valued others opinions and took a stand after understanding the pros and cons of each statement. For him, co-operation was what defined him.

Sawyer had a practical view to any situation, often stretching to a calculative and “shake the boat” approach. For him, the concept of “grey” areas was an anathema; either the action was good for the group or bad, but a call had to be taken and followed through.

But what’s common in all of them you’d ask? Self-sacrifice. For their actions, they paid in Money, Time and most importantly with Life. But for the survival of their people, they all did what they had to do. Unflinching desire towards a greater cause and understanding is what set them apart from the others and let them on the Path they tread.


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