I/O Psychology

Episode 79: Models of Effective Leadership – Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great and Ginger the Chicken?

Picture of Ginger the ChickenWhat makes for an effective leader and how can you improve your leadership skills? Well, who’s the best role model for a leader? How about a chicken? In this episode of The Psych Files we examine Chicken Run to see how she embodies the best qualities of a leader. I know – sounds a little weird, but I guarantee you’ll come away with a better understanding of leadership and some of the top leadership theories.

Characteristics of Effective Leaders

  • Provides followers with a compelling vision for the future
  • Has Specific ideas and plans on how to reach that future
  • Provides followers with challenging goals (and feedback related to those goals) to help them reach the vision (Path/Goal leadership theory)
  • Emotional Stability
  • Persistence in the face of setbacks (a positive attributional style)
  • Willingness to take personal risks to get to obtain the vision
  • Principled
  • Can share power and credit with subordinates/followers
  • Knows his/her people well enough to delegate tasks according to follower’s talents, skills and desires
  • Tough but fair
  • Works alongside his/her subordinates to reach the goal

Resources on Leadership

  • Bennis, W.G. (1993). An invented life: Reflections on leadership and change. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley
  • Hogan, R, Curphy, G. J. & Hogan, J. (1994). What we know about leadership: Effectiveness and personality. American Psychologist, 49(6), 493-504.



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    November 24, 2008

    Luisaelena: thanks for the comment. A great idea to analyze the movie for gender issues. It’s a great movie!

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    November 24, 2008

    thanks for posting this 😀 I gave credit to the post’s author and this site in my final paper based on Chicken Run. I am analyzing gender representations in this movie and how it promotes women in leadership.
    thanks .

  3. ZPID Blog Neue Medien in der Psychologie » Blog Archive » The Psych Files – Podcast Blog

    November 24, 2008

    […] Models of effective leadership – Joan of Arc, Alexander the great and Ginger the chicken? […]

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    November 24, 2008


    I’m gona watch Chicken Run in the near future too 🙂

  5. Avatar


    November 24, 2008


    Thanks so much! Believe me if you go and watch Chicken Run you will not be disappointed. You’ll love it. It’s such a funny and good-hearted movie. Thanks again for your note.


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    November 24, 2008

    Hi Dr. Britt,

    I enjoy you Leadership podcast so much that I feel like watching the Chicken Run movie and start reading up on Bennis’s book. I am still trying to catch up on your Podcast, currently still listening to Ep90. You said you are going to discuss more on Leadership in the coming Episode. Hope to hear from you again soon!

    I thank you so much for all the interesting podcast, keep up the great work!


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