Murder, Mayhem, and Management Skills

| Thursday, June 27, 2013
Saints Row: The Third is the delightful story of a plucky group of Americans trying to make it in a new city while being harassed by Mexican clones, hackers from the 80s, and a Belgian man who insists that it isn't the same as being French.  On the surface it's an adrenaline-filled game of violence and many terrible things.  Dig deeper and you'll see that it has important management skills to teach.

Servant Leadership
A servant leader leads not for his own power, but to help others.  In SR3 the protagonist is the leader of the Saints gang.  Yet he is also the servant of the gang, frequently putting his own safety on the line in order to help others.  He serves the gang as much as it serves him.  With his help, gang members grow as individuals and advance their goals.  Whether that means killing a Belgian guy or restarting a drug franchise, the protagonist helps his team members meet their many diverse goals.

When not shooting people (I needed a car), the protagonist is helping his gang members to grow as individuals.  He listens to them and helps them with their goals.  He offers advice as well as covering fire.

Learn from your Subordinates
A good leader becomes a great leader by learning.  The protagonist takes every opportunity to learn.  For example, he drove around in a convertible with a live tiger attacking him to learn to master his fear.  He also learned the value of team work and insurance fraud by working with new members of his gang.

At no point does the protagonist insist that "this is the way we've always done things."  When offered new opportunities, he leaps at the chance, whether this means leaping from a plane or jumping into a new and exceptionally violent, yet highly ethical Japanese game show.  In keeping with his style of learning from others, he seeks out those who understand the strange new city and adopts their methods.

Have a Goal
The protagonist has an ambitious set of goals.  He wants to kill people who tried to kill him.  He wants to get rich.  He wants to run the city.  Yet he also has achievable smaller goals along the way.  He gathers intelligence.  He develops money-laundering operations.  He takes over small areas of the city and recruits supporters.  Each small goal builds up toward the larger goals, like a mighty pyramid.


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