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Date Posted: 13:46:55 02/08/08 Fri
Author: Sunshine
Subject: Re: Leadership and authority
In reply to: Trent 's message, "Re: Leadership and authority" on 14:50:27 02/06/08 Wed

I think comparing (negatively by most fans) Buffy's leadership style in S7 compared to the previous seasons misses the point: the situations are completely different. In the previous six seasons, Buffy was leading a small group of known entities. If you look back at S1, initially Buffy rejected the help of Willow and Xander because she feared for their safety. It was only over a number of experiences, as their abilities increased and became manifest, was she able to trust their input and effectively incorporate them into her plans. In S7, she is leading a whole bunch of unknowns. When you are dealing with four or five people, it is possible to sit down and hash out a plan (and although I think Buffy welcomed the Scoobies participation she always assumed that she had the ultimate responsibility). When you are dealing with what in effect was an army, you do not really have that luxury. Someone has to make the decision and Buffy was certainly the best qualified. I think she acted somewhat like a field marshall because that was exactly what was called for. I think George Patton was a great field general but no one ever accused him of being warm and fuzzy or that he was particularly liked by his soldiers. I think Buffy realized that some or her charges were going to die and it enhanced her ever present sense of isolation (I keep remembering Wesley's situation in There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb where he says that "You try not to get anybody killed, you wind up getting everybody killed". Distancing yourself from the potential casualties seems reasonable). Buffy made the hard decisions and why Kennedy thought she was qualified to criticize was beyond me. In the end, Buffy learned how to share her powers but you'll notice that the final plan was still hers, not something arrived at by sitting around soliciting input via the parliamentary procedure.

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