Jessie



In Toy Story 3 Jessie’s character is full of life and will have a go at anything.  Jessie is a strong female character and will state her views and stand her ground but will join in and take part in everything.  She is very loyal to her friends.  However, Jessie is worried about being abandoned.  She was very sad when her previous owner lost interest in her.  Jessie spent a long time locked away and is now afraid of the dark and being left in enclosed spaces.

Jessie does not undertake a leadership role in Toy Story 3 until she believes that she is being abandoned with the other toys.  At this point Jessie takes control of the situation and convinces the other toys to go with her to Sunnyside Daycare.  Jessie tells the toys they must take control of their own destiny.  Mullins (2010) explains that different situations call for different types of leadership.  Jessie only steps up to take on a leadership role when she feels the situation is desperate and she cannot bear the thought that the toys will be abandoned .  Mullins (2010, p. 406) explains that leadership is “a relationship through which one person influences the behaviour or actions of other people”.  This is clearly the role that Jessie undertakes in this situation as she takes control of the situation and encourages the other toys to follow her. 

Lewin established 3 distinct leadership styles, Authoritarian (Autocratic), Participative (Democratic) and Delegative (Laissez-Faire).  Jessie demonstrates a Participative (Democratic) leadership style, she tries to lead and guide the other toys whilst at the same time being part of the group and listening to what the toys have to say.  Lewin states that Participative leadership is the most effective leadership style.  Jessie is first and foremost a team player and is very supportive of Woody and Buzz.  Jessie could be classed as a Servant Leader as defined by Robert K Greenleaf in 1970.  A Servant Leader has a natural inclination is to serve first, rather than someone who is a leader first.  A Servant Leader will ensure that the needs of other people are being met.  A Servant Leader shares power with others as Jessie did when she told the toys they must now take control of their destiny.  Servant Leadership fits most naturally with the Participative style of leadership.


An example of a famous democratic leader is Lech Walesa.  He initially trained as an electrician.  He became a leader of the shipyard workers in the late 1970’s and  campaigned for workers’ rights in the 1970s and 1980s. Walesa was the first democratically elected Polish President (1990 to 1995).  He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.  Like Jessie, Lech Walesa initially took on a leadership role in a difficult situation to help those around him.


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