The wildly popular book and movie series, The Hunger Games can teach us a great deal about leadership.
First, we need to move beyond the graphic violence being afflicted upon young people by their peers. We need to move past the dark nature of an oppressive government forcing the youth of their society into such violence, as well as controlling the wealth and privilege of a few in spite of the hardships of the majority. When we do so, we can see the positive leadership traits on display throughout the lead characters.
Here is where we find leadership lessons for our students today.
The lead heroine Katniss makes the decision to sacrifice herself for her younger sister. Katniss without hesitation is willing to give her life for someone she loves. She is fully aware of what stepping forward means. Granted it is unusual in our society to be called upon to sacrifice your life for someone else, with the exception of your military soldiers. The leadership lesson here is the willingness to give of yourself over and above your needs, wants, and desire so that others might prosper. It takes great leadership to put others before yourself, a trait not often seen.
Know and Develop Your Strengths:
Each of the main characters has their own unique talents. These talents needed to be uncovered and developed into strengths quickly. Sometimes our strengths stay hidden until we are faced with pressure and adversity. There was no time to focus on their weakness only to learn to play to their strengths. Young-adults need to do the same. They need to focus on their talents and develop them into strengths. Your strengths will be the things you do naturally, they are second nature. As a leader knowing your strengths allows you effectively lead with them.
Develop a Team:
It’s vital as a leader to develop a team you can trust. In this series it’s about choosing their allies and creating alliances wisely. When you know your strengths you also know your weaknesses. As a leader you want to develop a team of people that complement each other. Having a team of people just like you typically is not effective. Developing a team that supports each other’s weakness and strengths is a much better team. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, so you need to support each other in developing strengths.
Control What Is Within Your Power:
The characters in this series have very little control over their situation. Yet, Peeta desperately wants to make sure the situation doesn’t change who he is as a person. As a leader you need to hold onto your principals, integrity, and commitment to purpose. Focus on the things that are within your ability to manage and control.
You Are Stronger Than You Think:
This is a great lesson every great leader learns for themselves and then strives to teach their team. When faced with overwhelming odds its amazing the amount of strengths you find within yourself. You will find yourself in situations that will push you beyond what you believed you could handle. When you rely upon your strengths, your support team, and stay true to yourself, you will prevail.
There are more leadership lessons within the The Hunger Games. Take a few moments to share your comments about leadership lessons.