Boston Rob, on his 4th attempt, won Survivor. In order to win, he played, according to Jeff Probst, a nearly perfect game. He created and maintained the strongest alliance ever seen on Survivor. Julie, a contestant that was not in his alliance, was amazed at the control he had of his alliance. According to her, his alliance would not even talk to other contestants. They would continually checked in with Rob and told him everything that was happening. Even Rob remarked that no one should have this much power. Jeff Probst called his alliance "almost cult-like".
The obvious question during the reunion show was, "How did you do it?" As the show progressed, keys to his strategy were revealed. In simple terms, he developed great relationships. To begin with, Rob knew that, as a returning player, he would be a target for early elimination. He felt that if he could build some relationships and show people that he could help them, such as building shelter, then he had a chance to stick around. The key was building the relationships. Andrea, a member of his alliance, said that he built individual relationships with each of them, he had a different relationship with each person, and he spent time with her for no reason.
Another member of the alliance, Philip, was one of the strangest contestants to ever be on the show. He was very difficult to get along with and nearly every person could not wait to vote him out. However, Rob befriended Philip, kept him around, voted out other people, and eventually used Philip to win $1 million. Jeff asked Rob what he saw in Philip. Rob said that Philip is a lovable guy; you just have to listen to him and his story. According to Rob, Philip is one of twelve children, so he has spent his whole life trying to get attention. You need to imagine his story and understand where he is coming from. Rob summarized his strategy with Philip by explaining that if he just showed Philip love, Philip will be loyal.
These lessons should be applied to everyday life. We need to show love and develop relationships with people. Do we treat each person special, like we really care about them? Do we spend time with them? You cannot develop relationships without spending time together. We should serve people and help them. We need to choose to love even unlovable people. We need to understand their story and show them love.
While I wish Boston Rob would get rid of his Red Sox hat, he is a likeable guy who saw the importance of relationships, won Survivor, and taught us some life lessons in the process.