1. Assuming that no manager is perfect, whom would you rather report to, Davenport or Savage?
Assuming that no manager is perfect, I would rather report to Savage. Even though Davenport is super friendly and can do no wrong, Savage, for many, many reasons seems to me a better leader than him. Savage's leadership style successfully met the needs of his followers, resulting in him turning the squadron into a productive and effective fighting machine. He proceeded to rebuild the discipline, faith, confidence, pride and courage of his team.
Savage's approach was so effective that the pilots that had applied for transfer to another squadron withdrew their applications voluntarily, showing how much more motivated and dedicated they had become because of Savage. Also, ground crews who couldn’t fly anymore smuggled aboard some of the air missions to share in the danger and contribute to the glory. This shows the pride they felt toward their unit and towards Savage.
In essence, I feel Savage portrayed himself as a better leader than Davenport. The response of the members of the squadron showed this, too. For this reason, I would rather report to Savage than to Davenport.
2. How do you rate General Pritchard as a top manager? If he were your CEO, would you think your company was in good hands?
I would rate General Pritchard as an average top manager. I don't think he is an excellent top manager. I don't think he is extremely bad, either. For this simple reason, I wouldn’t want him as the CEO of my company. I based my rating mainly in the fact that he relieves Davenport of command only after quickly recognizing that he could possibly be the main reason of having a disastrous unit. In my opinion, he never digs deep into the situation to see whether or not there could be other options than firing him. I think a good manager in a similar situation will first discuss the problem with the employee and try to see what the issue is to try to find a reasonable solution. Then, and only if the problem still can't get resolved, firing him should be an option. On the other side, General Pritchard was always very understanding that Davenport's failure was mainly due to exhausted effort and incapacity, and not lack of right intention, so he never tried to humiliate him. This speaks good of him as a manager. Still, I feel that General Pritchard left Davenport go without having enough and solid reasons. And for that reason, I do not think of General Pritchard as a good top manager or CEO.
3. How is “maximum effort” defined in your group? Do you agree with the definition? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?
I personally define "maximum effort" as one's all, best effort to do a task, regardless of the limitations that could possibly exist. A person shows maximum effort when, even being super exhausted, still puts full dedication and passion into the work, making the spirit to take over in a way that it brings in the additional resources and energy needed to complete it.
In the movie, Savage demands "maximum effort" from the members of the squadron. The bombers are forced to fly lower, to fly farther, and to test themselves, even if overspent and fatigued.
I agree with the definition because I feel that that is exactly what "maximum effort" means: leaving it all on the battlefield.
4. Can you imagine a Twelve O’Clock High scenario in which all the participants were:
(a)Women instead of men?
If the participants were women instead of men, I don't think I would modify Savage's approach. He was very strict and exercised firm authority without hesitation. In my opinion, he was never arbitrary, never based on personal preference or personal reaction. He was equally strong with all of them because he wanted to restore discipline; and that is ok. I don't believe in gender differences or stereotypes, so I don't see why he would need to treat women any differently than men.