Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Leadership and management styles from CSI

AXN has started showing the latest season of CSI: Miami, and in the most recent episode, Caleigh's Hummer was run off the road and into a Florida canal. While she fretted about the evidence bags inside her vehicle, her boss Horatio Caine is more concerned about her. Caleigh: "The evidence, it's all compromised." Horatio: "Yes, but you aren't." Awww.

My sister and I agree that if we were CSIs, we'd want to work for Horatio. Even if Miami's cast is my least favorite, over the seasons I have developed a soft spot for H
, incessant shades-twiddling and all, because of all the team leaders of the 3 CSI shows, he's the one who strikes me as the most "human", the one who takes time out to console victims' families, who talks to child witnesses in a gentle, reassuring tone, and who always looks out for his people, putting their welfare first before any case, no matter how important.

Discussing H's virtues with Hanks led me to thinking about the other 2 CSI head honchos, and how they differ in handling their respective teams. I've come up with the following comparative profiles:

Gil Grissom, CSI Las Vegas

Gris is the hard-core scientist of the 3, and it shows in how he leads his team. Calm, collected, and cerebral, the pragmatic entomologist sets high standards of accuracy and integrity for himself,
thus inspiring the same kind of excellence in his crew. Sure, he forgets to do his paperwork from time to time, but it's easy to forgive his administrative shortcomings because he's just so effing brilliant. The only downside is that his cool, logical ways make him seemingly detached emotionally, and while his people obviously respect him and are even fond of him, he rarely reciprocates, at least outwardly. Hell, it took him 6 seasons to get it on with Sara. The strong bond among the Vegas team is rooted in their loyalty to and hero worship of Grissom, but it ultimately flowers because of their distinct personalities, which mesh well, and a shared sense of humor which Gris has a hard time relating to. Which is not to say he's devoid of all warmth-- he gets in a wry quip every once in a while, and he obviously has softened up ever since hooking up with Sara. But inter-office relationship aside, Gris is the consummate professional, both as a CSI and as a boss.

Mac Taylor, CSI New York

Mac is a former Marine, so it follows that his management style leans toward the militaristic. He is strict with his subordinates, and demands discipline and focus from all of them.
He has a strong sense of ethics and justice, and is not afraid to make hard decisions, such as when he fired one of his CSIs in the 1st season, or in certain episodes wherein he butted heads with Danny, Hawkes and Flack. However, Mac's not a total drill sergeant. He's firm, but fair, and he is known to display concern for the personal well-being of his soldiers. He obviously shares a close friendship with Stella, and recently he has even started dating Peyton the medical examiner. Just don't expect the macho man to hug anyone (or be pleased about getting caught embracing his lady love in public). His no-nonsense manner tends to be a bit brusque, but it fits well in the gritty New York setting, and anyway his team is composed of tough, fiercely independent Gothamites who can take what he dishes out. And when the going gets tough even for them, Mac's steely intensity, stoic restraint, and steady authority are what make them turn to him as their rock and anchor.

Horatio Caine, CSI Miami

As previously mentioned, H has the most empathetic management approach. Not only does he make allowances for his team's mistakes, he sometimes bends the rules and sticks out his own neck protecting them when needed. If there's a problem or if one of his CSIs is in a jam, his ready response is "I don't want you to worry about that right now. Let me take care of it." His kindness extends to the respectful way he speaks to his team, including the lowly lab technicians, regularly addressing them as "Mr. ___" and "ma'am"-- even pulling out "sweetheart" for Caleigh on occasion. Not that he's a pushover, of course; he speaks softly, but he carries a big stick. It just seems that he doesn't need to reprimand his people because they've already been programmed to feel unbearably guilty whenever they screw up. Whether it's from knowing they've disappointed H, or because they each have a Caine conscience plugged into them, it makes evident that the Miami team is devoted to both their work and their boss.
Though H is the least humorous of the 3 CSI leads, he is the most compassionate and most accessible, and because he's always there for his people, they show complete faith in his guidance and direction.

So which guy would you rather work for, the smart guy who's always right, the tough guy who fights for what's right, or the nice guy who treats people right? And conversely, if you were running a CSI team, would you be the one looking for the right answers, the one looking for justice, or the one looking out for everyone else?


At Thursday, August 16, 2007, Anonymous Christa said...

Caine and Grissom are my favorite. :) In actuality, Las Vegas is my favorite cast, but Miami is also amazing.

CSI is <3. XD

Caine is just so freaking awesome. The way he handles situations with children, and the way he gains their respect so fast is just amazing.

At Thursday, August 16, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

H is da man. :)


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