Leadership is often seen as a trait or a quality associated to managers and business leaders of corporations or organizations. It actually belongs to everyone living in this societal world. In certain life situations, I am–as well as you are–required to have a strong leadership. Especially when we have to make tough decisions.
Yesterday I was in Lembang, coached for 3 days by Agate’s commissioners and founders. We learned about business processes, problem solving techniques and the company’s philosophy. There were 5 sessions in total, but the last one was the most shocking one.
Agate’s CEO Arief Widhiyasa gave us a situation, and each of us had to make the call. Let’s give it a try, it is pretty cool. ^.^
You were trapped in a remote place; it could be a jungle, an island or a desert. Location matters not. Reasons why you were there matters not. The fact was, you led 19 other people to that place. There was no reasonable means to escape. Rescuers would come and save you, but you could do nothing but was waiting to be rescued.
During the last possible communication with the rescue team, you got another fact: They would arrive in 2 weeks. Those 19 people did not know that fact yet. The rescue team talked to you only. And, again, there was no more possibility to communicate with them.
After some analysis, you found that the available food and water were very limited. You would not find additional food nor water sources. One person might survive in 2 weeks if you gave all food and water to him or her. If you chose to share food and water for 19 people evenly, everyone–including you–would definitely die.
A Battle Royale-like Situation
Do not try to find any logical fallacy in this situation. If it helps, you can try to simulate it using Battle Royale‘s plot.
Battle Royale is a Japanese movie where the story revolves around survival. The government kidnapped 42 high school students and put them in a remote island. Every student wore a locked bomb collar device, with a timer and a heartbeat detector. By the end of 3 days, if there were more than 1 active collar, they would all be shot to death. If someone tried to escape the island by any means, they would all be shot to death. Only one student was allowed to survive. If he/she could stay alive while all of his/her friends died within 3 days, the government would pick him/her up and remove the bomb collar from his/her neck.
Those 42 kids had 2 options: To kill their friends, or to be killed by their friends.
The One Million Dollar Question
What would you do?
The Warlord (project manager) said,
“I would not be able to live the rest of my life if I won it by taking my friends’. I would just tell them honestly about the situation. If they decided to pick me as the sole survivor, I would honor it. If one dominating person decided to kill me, so be it.”
The Hunter Master (head of sales team) replied,
“After all available food was gone, I would pick people like you, kill them and eat them. That way I could rescue more people.”
The Oracle (corporate secretary) said,
“I would just stay quiet and eat happily with my friends. Let’s just stick together to the very end. If we were meant to die before we could be rescued, so be it, let’s just die in dignity and happiness!”
I, the Summoner (fans manager), said,
“I would tell them nothing. I might have been too emotional to say anything anyway. But, after I was calm enough to think, I would quietly assess the survival capability of each and every one. Only one could survive, so that person must have been the one with emotional and physical strengths powerful enough to stay alive for 2 weeks. If it happened to be me, I would just kill the others. If it happened to be another person, I would protect him or her while I killed the rest, and then I would explain the situation to him or her and kill myself.”
The Sentinel (chief technology officer) said,
“My answer is similar to Dian’s, only that I would tell them the situation and my assessment result right away. The ideal situation was when they chose to go with my advice, saving the sole survivor I picked. The non-ideal situation was when they became too emotional that they killed me instantly. Either way would be no problem, I would definitely die anyway.”
The Centurion (game producer) shouted,
“Battle Royale! I would ask them to just kill each other. The sole survivor in the end was definitely the one worth living.”
What Would You Do?
Imagine you were in such situation, and you had to make the tough decision. Imagine those 19 people had various relationships with you. Half of them were people you love; they could be your spouse, your children, your parents, your best friends, etc. The rest were people you hate; they could be competitors, your enemies, those who had hurt you in the past, etc. What would you do?
You can write your answer on the comment box, I would really love to know.
The true answer is coming in one of the next posts. ^.^