General Frank Savage vs Colonel Davenports’ Leadership Style | Twelve O’clock High Case Analysis

There is a number of leadership styles used by different leaders during war situation in Twelve O’clock High movie. Below are the differences in their leadership styles accordance with the situations and their impact on war.

Difference in leadership style between General Savage and Colonel Davenport

General Savage treats everyone so brutally that he has no compassion for his men, in result all of his men began to dislike him. While Colonel Davenport treats too friendly with his men that’s why they didn’t take him too seriously and doesn’t respect his authority.

General Savage Leadership Style

It is said that he used both Directing & Coaching leadership style(S1 as directive, S2 as coaching)

S1; High directive and low supportive

S1; He treats harshly. So, all his unit begin to dislike him & apply for transfers.

S1; Initially he used to be very rough to handle the situation.

S2; He make decisions and provide reasons of why the decision is being made to gain loyalty and reduce conflicts.

S2; Bring unity and motivation in his unit.

S2; Later on, he uses coaching style to raise unit’s willingness and commitment to fly after second successful mission.

Colonel Davenport Leadership Style

Common belief is He used only Supporting leadership style, also known as S3.

1. Low directive and high supportive

2. He protects them by taking responsibility for errors made by his men.

3. He was unable to use more planes for mission, he surrendered against situations.

4. Atmosphere of confusion and anxiety among his men because he couldn’t tell them what to do, while they were loyal.

5. He couldn’t make all decisions.

6. His inappropriate leadership style in accordance to situation leads to poor performance of his unit.

General Frank Savage vs Colonel Davenports' Leadership Style | Twelve O’clock High Case Analysis
General Frank Savage vs Colonel Davenports' Leadership Style | Twelve O’clock High Case Analysis

Why does General Savage succeed where Colonel Davenport fails?

General Savage leadership traits and styles were in accordance with the situations, which was the major reason of his success as compared to Colonel Davenport as he uses supporting style while knowing that its war zone, this style caused anxiety in atmosphere.

Colonel Davenport was failing because he was misapplying with the development and formation phase of his employees and was asking to be told what to do. And he had become too friendly in that stressed environment.
While General Savage analyze the military circumstances at that time and took appropriate actions by using directing leadership style to control the initial phase. Later on when he observes that the situation is under control, after the staffs second successful mission, he realizes that it’s the appropriate time to change his leadership style. Because if he stayed directing for longer time then their morale wouldn’t have improved and there could be raise in threat of unsolvable conflicts between groups. So, he attempts to be lenient periodically.

What important decisions does each of the leaders make? What are the consequences of these decisions?

Commander Pritchard

He entrusted the role of Commander for unit in to General Frank Savage in order to fulfill requirements of morale and discipline after his personal visit. Which results in better performance of the bombardment unit under the leadership of General Savage.

Colonel Davenport

He visits the headquarters so as to try and solve the prevailing problem of his men loss at battle front because he was too close and friendly to the unit which leads to disrespect, confusion in decision making and anxiety in atmosphere.

General Savage
  1. He downgrades and embarrass Lt Colonel Ben Gately for his poor performance and also give him way to prove himself by providing flying three missions. He promotes those who have shown bravery on missions, these actions result in developing good squadron leaders.
  2. On startup, savage criticize guards for not checking his identification. A Sergeant was not wearing uniform, so he demotes him and closes the bar. These decisions helped to restore accountability and standards.
  3. He announces ‘You’re sorry for yourselves’. And ‘Fear is normal. Stop worrying about it. Stop making plans. Consider yourselves dead’ to clear his objectives and expectations.

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