We're not really sure who made Rick boss, but he has played the role of head honcho since the series' inception. That is, until he decided he preferred being a farmer to making all of the big decisions, turning the group of survivors into a rudderless ship in season four. So far, it hasn't worked out well for them. "Leadership is incredibly important and traditional societies have always had leaders," says Holding. "In a small group leaders hold a certain amount of executive power, but are also very much beholden to group members in a natural sort of checks and balances system. Actions on the part of a leader that demonstrate integrity and worthiness – and improve the group's circumstances – build up a reservoir of trust and willingness to follow among group members. A leader can draw upon this account in exigencies when he or she needs to make swift, consequential, and possibly controversial decisions. In such cases [like when Carol transgressed and Rick felt he had to exile her], a so-called ‘benevolent dictatorship' is the most efficient form of government. A leader must be aware of overdraft, however! He or she must consider input from the group, while group members must also be prepared to follow a sensible leader."
Credit: Gene Page / AMC
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