Who set the focus and what was it? Why do you
Though in form “12 angry men” was a
courtroom drama where 12 jurors were fighting to come to a common decision
against a boy but in purpose it’s a crash course in those passages of the
Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial.
Henry Fonda, the 8th jury
in the panel, set the focus. All the other 11 jurors apart from him agreed that
the boy was guilty. Only Henry thought that they should invest some time
thinking the issue in various angles. In a length of only 95 minutes the jurors
are all defined in terms of their personalities, backgrounds, occupations,
prejudices and emotional tilts. But Henry was the only person who was
determined to discuss the case profoundly. Right from the beginning?—?Henry
Fonda’s character tried to walk into the boy’s shoes; what it must have been
liked to live in a slum and grow up in a violent environment. Instead of
rushing to judgement, potentially a prejudiced one, he tried to see things from
the boy’s perspective. Henry never forced anyone to vote the boy not guilty,
rather he pointed out each possibility which made other juries to shift votes
and think about the case from various angles. Henry’s character was a
combination of strong leadership, sturdy self-belief and assertive thinking.
2. What are the leadership
competencies that created an impression on you or your team? Explain with a
brief description and justify?
Taking a stand: This leadership quality
was displayed by Henry Fonda (Juror 8) when he stood against all the other
jurors to portray for his own opinion. Most of the other jurors were under the
influence of other jurors and preliminary case facts, and were reluctant to
stand for what they thought was right. For ex: Juror 9 was under the influence
of other jurors and when he saw Juror 8 taking a stand for what he felt right
he got motivated enough to support him. Juror 8 was forced to change his
decision under many instances but he stood by his decision because he was not
convinced by the facts presented by other jurors and the court.
Seeing the larger picture: Most of the
jurors came to the decisions mainly because they didn’t want to waste any time
discussing over the matter. For ex. Juror 7, wanted to just get over the
meeting so that he could go to the ball game. He didn’t even care for the
accused and that his decision could have put him under death penalty. Whereas,
Juror 8 was looking at the larger picture and held himself accountable for the
pending decision. He took the decision on his own conscience and was willing to
wait until he was convinced that the accused was really the culprit. So, he
decided to go the difficult path by not only standing against all the 11 other
jurors but also changing their decision without disrespecting their opinions.
Nudging others: Even if you take a
stand, it is impossible to change a decision if you cannot make the others
believe. Juror 8 realized this, hence he used subtle techniques to nudge
others. He tried to change other’s decisions by constantly interacting with
them and counter them with logic and facts. He knew that the other jurors had
already made a decision and it is very difficult to change a person’s decision
because of the resisting nature. Hence, he slowly but surely made each other
change their decision one by one by proving them what was right even though he
had to take a lot of negative comments from the others.
Respecting other’s opinion: Even though
juror 8 was against all the other jurors, he was not stubborn and was willing
to listen to all the others if they could make him change his decision. He
respected all the other jurors and he even believed that all the other jurors
might have been right from the beginning. He gave all of them a chance to prove
him wrong so that he could change his decision.
Focusing on important discussions: There
was a lot of chaos at the jury room because everyone wanted to prove himself
right. Even though Juror 8 was against all the other jurors, he gave importance
to the important discussions. For ex. when some juror presented the fact
involving the “woman across the railway line” he was interested in his fact and
gave huge importance to it even though that fact was against could have changed
3. Elaborate on how the change
was led by Henry Fond keeping the steps of change management in mind (Apply
only relevant steps)
Step 1: Create Urgency
created a situation of urgency by appealing to the entire jury of 12 men to
deliberate on the possibility of the accused being non-guilty of the murder at
least for an hour. He himself wasn’t sure if the accused was guilty or not but
he didn’t want any man to get punished for something he hasn’t committed.
Eventually, he was successful at changing some jurors’ opinion about the boy by
highlighting the touch upbringing he had.
Step 2: Form a Powerful Coalition
convinced the entire jury to at least ponder over the situation properly before
unanimously agreeing on a verdict. After the jury discussed a few facets of the
murder’s evidences, he took a risk by calling in for another round of votes and
convincing people if out of those 11 other jurors, if nobody feels the accused
could be non-guilty, he would change his vote else if even one feels he is
non-guilty, there would be further deliberation. The outcome of the voting was
what he wished for as one of the jurors changed sides to non-guilty, so his
attempt paid off.
Step 3: Create a Vision for Change
attempt to convince the jury to deliberate on the facts and evidences of the
case for at least an hour before concluding the verdict that lead to an
interesting and unexpected turn of events which set a tone for the entire
movie. He tried convincing the jurors to ponder over the possibility, however
improbable it might be, of the boy surrounded by many coincidences which point
at him being guilty but may not have executed the murder of his father.
Step 4: Remove Obstacles
Henry Fonda was
not sure whether the buy executed the murder of his father which is why he kept
repeating the line ‘I don’t know, I’m not sure, it’s possible he is
non-guilty’. He convinces others to deliberate into thinking of various other
outcomes that had not been taken into consideration. This lead to disapproving
certain scenarios such as the statement made by the old man of going near the
stairs within 15 mins and witnessing the buy running out of the door. Henry
Fonda convinced everyone that even a unique looking switchblade like the one
purchased by the boy could have be purchased by anyone coincidently.
Step 5: Create Short-Term Wins
Henry Fonda made
sure that there is a round of voting after discussing an important fact or
evidence surrounding the case. This gave him a sense of confidence that he is
leading the jury to believe what he believes in after every discussion.
Step 6: Build on the Change
Henry Fonda was
himself not sure what to believe in, therefore, he didn’t want to force his
opinion on anyone else also. He wanted the other jurors to believe him slowly
after deliberating upon the surety of all the evidences so that the unanimous
vote for non-guilty seems to be more assertive one.