In the movie 13 days, one can identify ten skills and behaviours of leadership amongst certain characters. The first skill of leadership that can be identified in the movie is, in some parts, certain leaders seem to take upon themselves to encourage others when situations get out of hand. Through direct eye contact, they relay a friendly message and warm response to the other within the group. One can identify a unique skill of leadership that some characters seem to portray in influencing courage within the groups. It is important for leaders to take into account others feeling, and in the movie this seems to be the case among people who take charge of leadership positions in small groups. The second skill that can be identified in the movie is the ability the identified leaders have to reduce tension among the groups that they control. By use of humour, even in the worst of situations, these characters are able to make people who are within the groups relaxed, in the end reducing the tension that may lead to unclear judgments of events.
Third, these leaders are able to demonstrate the ability to resolve emerging disagreements among parties that exist within the small groups. The characters seem to achieve this by finding ways to incorporate other people thoughts, without them contradicting their own judgment. Forth, leaders in the movie seem to be able to share their thoughts in a manner that does not oppress the other people’s thoughts and feelings towards a given subject. Fifth, leaders in both films are able to expand their ideas to incorporate others, while at the same time, being able to make sure that the other members of the group understand their own thoughts and ideas clearly. Sixth, the characters that have been identified as leaders are able to notice the other members’ feelings, hence, adjusting their own to incorporate other members.
Seventh, the leaders are able to enter brainstorming sessions with their colleges, and in the process, suggesting methods and ideas on how to carry forward to meet certain obligations. Eighth, the leaders are able to establish a comfortable environment in which every member of the group can weigh in on their opinions. Ninth, in the movie, the leaders are able to summarise all the ideas, and come up with the correct idea that is governed by morals and ethics. Lastly, the movie demonstrate leaders who are able to follow up on the decision they have made without letting anyone contradict them or what they believe to be right.
In 13 days, Bruce Greenwood who plays as John Kennedy the president and one of the identified leaders in the movie can take into consideration the decision of the group by engaging them into discussion. However, he does not let the decisions being made contravene his personal judgment. In one of the scenes, Greenwood is seen listening to his majors urging him to go to war with Cuba. At one moment, one thinks that he might fall into the pressure of his generals and go to war. However, Bruce sticks to his moral conviction that the problem can be solved in a more democratic manner. In the movie, Bruce demonstrates the ability to summarize all the ideas after looking at all angles, and making the best moral and ethical decision. Steven Culp who plays as Robert or rob is one of the most recognizable leaders in the movie.
In one of the scenes, after the problem occurs rob is seen to take charge of the situation maintaining law and order, as the people in charge of making the decision delegate on which is the best course of action. In his character, Rob appears to be a man in charge of making the hard decision, with taking into consideration what the experts are telling him. For instant, in one scene, Rob lets one of the experts make the decision on whether to invade Cuba and lets him justify his moral stand. His ability to make a rational and quick decision, based on what the experts tell him, makes him one of the leaders in the film. Another leader that can be identified in 13 days is Kevin Costner, who plays as Kenny O’Donnel.
In one scene, Kevin is seen encouraging the president before he makes a press statement on the stand America has taken on the issue. Kenny shows the ability relive the president out of his tension by cracking jokes, which help in settling the president's nerves. Robert McNamara played by Dylan Baker is also identified as one of the leaders in the movie. In one scene, Robert is seen demonstrating integrity, which is one of the skills that a leader should have, by asking a captain in the navy not to fire at a vessel until the president approves even though this might affect the security of the country. The scene demonstrates a man in full control of his thoughts and feelings even at the worst of things. In addition, before asking the general to stop he first seeks to understand what exactly is happening and how that might affect the democratic talks they are trying to have with the Russians.
On the edge of what many people would consider as eminent war, the president seems to keep a cool head. With the pressure coming from all sides, the president maintains his stance of no aggression. With the threat of imminent nuclear attack from Cuba, the president looks for solutions that would not end up with the two countries fighting. This is the role played by Bruce Greenwood in the movie 13 days. Throughout the movie, one can spot instances when the president is pushed to the wall, and war seems like the only solution to the problem they are facing. However, his more sob mind helps keep the movie interesting. Bruce Greenwood demonstrates the skills of a leader, specifically when he orders his general not to attack without his permission. Two men, one who acts as his brother and his adviser, and the other who act as his chief adviser help the president.
Throughout the movie, the three are seen making tough decisions on which way to go to avoid a war that seems inevitable. In one of the scenes, Kevin Costner who plays as Kenny and the chief adviser to the president, is seen urging a pilot to deny being shoot since admitting he was shoot at by Cuba would be seen as an act of war, and would lead to war. By doing this, Kevin Costner saves the country from going to war. Although some might argue that his action demonstrates the act of a coward, one can also argue that his action, in that scene, show integrity and consideration of what the war might do to the innocent civilians. Through his decision, Kenny buys the president more time to find a democratic solution that does not involve the two countries going to war. A leader, as demonstrated by Kevin Costner in the movie, needs to know how to handle difficult circumstances once they arise by having a cool head and finding better ways of resolving a problem amicably.
As a leader, I would make the same decision that Kenny made, of having a pilot lie to the joint staff of having been shot. The main reason behind this is because, I believe a leader should be able to think of the consequences that might follow if something like war were to break out. Leaders also need to know how to handle situations to come up with the best solution, which is what Kevin Costner demonstrates in that scene. In addition, the reason I would handle the situation the same way as Kenny does in the movie is because, through his action Kenny demonstrates the unique ability that a leader should have of insight on the repercussions of doing something wrong. While lying might be wrong, Kenny shows how doing the wrong thing at some time is the only way to avoid war, and so without asking the pilot to lie directly, Kenny convince him to see the ethical and moral way out.
Personally, I think this is one of the abilities that I would take from Kenny, in that; I would manipulate an event if it meant avoiding a war. Throughout the movie, Kenny helps the president fight for peace, through diplomatic means, which is something I would do if in the same position.