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Survival, Leadership and Life Lessons from The Walking Dead

AMC’s The Walking Dead might seem like just a show about zombies, but it’s so much more. When it comes down to it, it’s about people – and we can learn a lot from what we see on the show.

We’ve seen plenty of these life lessons in the past on shows like Lost, when people are just trying to survive under extreme circumstances, where “Live together, die alone,” is an unfortunate truth. Just add a zombie takeover and forget the plane crash on a deserted island and you’ve got The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead |  amctv.com
The Walking Dead | AMC

Be a Leader

Right from the beginning, Rick was thrown into a leadership position. As the leader, he’s had his fair share of crises and tough situations to handle. For the most part, he’s been a smart and qualified leader – minus those momentary periods of crazy – and he’s always the one giving moving speeches to get everyone back on track. While Rick has removed himself from his leadership responsibilities at the beginning of season 4, he’s still someone that the others turn to in times of trouble, and he picks back up where he left off when necessary.

Make Hard Decisions

In your everyday life, you have to be able to make tough decisions, sometimes at a moment’s notice. Being indecisive won’t help you survive, whether you’re dealing with friends, work or zombies.

In The Walking Dead, when the lives of others are in your hands, you’ve got to make hard decisions. Rick has had to leave strangers behind when helping them could negatively impact his group. You have to be able to make the big decisions that won’t put your group in danger.

Build Relationships and Trust

The Walking Dead isn’t just about zombies. It’s about relationships. Sure, they have to survive zombie attacks and other people who might not be friendly, but it’s mostly about how the characters interact with each other.

As seen in the show, it’s important to build relationships so you can trust others. There’s no way the group would have made it this long if they didn’t trust each other. Whether it’s romantic, for work or for survival, relationships are incredibly essential in life.

Stick Together

In extreme situations, there’s strength in numbers. Like our survivors on Lost, the characters on The Walking Dead have learned how important it is to stick together. It may be hard to trust people in such crazy circumstances, but as we’ve seen on these shows, other people are crucial to survival.

The same can be said for your work relationships. Work as a team and you’ll get more done as a stronger unit. Go off on your own and you risk failure. We saw this on The Walking Dead with both Michonne and Merle. Neither were team players – Michonne changed her attitude toward the group and that made her stronger, while Merle wouldn’t work with the group and that led to his demise.

More Lessons from The Walking Dead

And there’s even an online class for The Walking Dead. UC Irvine created a globally-available online class in conjunction with season 4 of the show. The eight-week course is called Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead – participants will learn about the breakdown of society during catastrophic events, public safety and disease control, ways to react in situations such as these, and much more.

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