Leadership: Michael Westen from Burn Notice

When I was writing Raylan Givens’s blog, I noticed a number of similarities between him and Michael Westen–so much that I almost didn’t write Michael’s blog. Both left bad home lives for a life of righting wrongs. Both returned home against their will. Both go out of their ways to help people.

But I think Michael is more of a leader than Raylan, who is a bit more arrogant and doesn’t ask for help. Michael doesn’t either, but he’s learned to accept it, even depend on it. He has support on Sam, the former Navy SEAL, who used to spy on him for the Feds, and Fiona, the IRA-trained former spy who is also his on-again, off-again lover. Even his mother Madeline is drawn in to help every now and again, much against Michael’s will. She seems to be trying to make up for his unpleasant childhood, and he’s trying to protect her.

Sam, Fiona and Madeline turn to Michael for guidance. He’s usually the one with the plan, always trying for the simplest solution with the fewest people hurt. That’s not always the way things work, but he’s also able to adapt quickly.

Even when Fiona and Sam are on other operations, they come to Michael (or call) for guidance. they know he cares enough about them to take the time to get them safely out of a situation.

I think that’s a primary quality of a good leader–caring about the people he leads as well as being smart enough to lead.

What do you think makes a person a good leader? Who would you name as a strong leader? Don’t forget to comment for a chance at a $25 gift certificate!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trish Milburn
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 09:33:59

    I think a good leader has to be willing to listen to other people, to their varying viewpoints, before making decisions. If they don’t, they’re just a dictator.

    Love Michael Westen, and the whole cast. USA really has a great group of shows. I love White Collar too.


  2. Natalie J. Damschroder
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 12:53:50

    Nicely said, MJ. Michael’s qualities inspire others to follow him and be there for him, a hallmark of a GOOD leader.

    Trish, I love USA, too. White Collar and Royal Pains and Covert Affairs. 🙂


  3. Jessica Meade
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 14:12:46

    I think Michael is an excellent leader. He is willing to do everything he asks his people to do and he cares about their well being. He wants to keep them safe but supports their need for action as well.


  4. Karen Duvall
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 16:02:37

    Oh, yes, I agree about Michael. Burn Notice is one of my all time favorite shows. Mike is an awesome leader because he never fails to take the bull by the horns, he stands by his principles, and he doesn’t ignore a cry for help at any cost. He’s a great leader because others aspire to what seems effortless for him. They want to emulate him. Another great leader is Seeley Booth of Bones. He’s just vulnerable enough that you want to hug him, and strong enough that you want him to have your back.


  5. Misty
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 16:25:05

    Hey MJ!

    I followed the link over ffrom Natalie’s page and I have to say what a great post! My husband got me hooked on this show and I love Michael. He always makes me think of the kind of person who pushes others behind them to protect them. He will take the first hit and remain standing. He has a great mind and is definitely the kind of leader to look up to. I adore his mom and love their interactions!


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