Forget laser pistols and phaser beams, your mind is your greatest asset for success.
I grew up watching Star Trek on Saturday mornings with my older brother. As our parents slept in, we’d sit on pillows in front of our large wooden box RCA TV (now a vintage collectible I’m sure) crunching heaping bowls of sugary cereal while Captain James T. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Mr. Spock and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew explored strange new worlds.
Those days are gone now, but there’s no doubt that Mr. Spock made a lasting impression on me and countless others. So as I digested the news this morning of the death of Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed Mr. Spock for most of us in one way or another from 1965 to 2013, I was immediately struck as to the leadership impact of that endearing Enterprise First Officer who just may be the greatest #2 sidekick of all time.
Forget laser pistols and phaser beams, your mind is your greatest asset for success. So “set your leadership phaser to stun” with these Six Lasting Leadership Lessons from quite possibly one of the greatest minds ever!
Accept Who You Are and Release Your Doubt
Be Unapologetically You. Genuine and Unique. The real enemy may not be the Klingons in your life. It may not even be those indifferent Romulans or other naysayers. The real enemy can be self-doubt. The sooner you realize your value and your real and potential contributions, the sooner you will experience success! Mr. Spock once said, “Even the smallest doubt may kill you.” That may seem drastic but when it comes to your hopes and dreams, if you don’t believe, who will?
“Even the smallest doubt may kill you…” –Mr. Spock
Learn to Balance Logic and Emotion
Many misguided individuals will say that Spock didn’t have emotions. We know that he did. After all he was part human. Spock was in control of his emotions and he chose not to be overcome by them, and used emotions to gain better insight into the ideas and actions of others. There’s nothing wrong with emotion. Unfortunately society sometimes discourages open displays of emotion but emotional intelligence plays a significant role in our ability to make decisions and build relationships at home and elsewhere. Spock was not devoid of emotion. His emotions combined with his knowledge and logical, actually made him an emotionally deep individual. It’s ok as a leader to show that you are human, and that emotions actually do factor in to your decision-making. Just don’t let your emotions control you, and consult logic and reason too!
“I have noted that a healthy release of emotions is frequently most unhealthy to those closest to you.” –Mr. Spock
Maintain Connections–Be Faithful and Loyal
Spock was loyal. He was a team player who knew his place, but also understood his value. He was determined to accomplish the mission and to be more than just present. Be faithful and loyal. That means recognizing the importance of the team and their contributions. While his perspective may have been difficult to understand at times, no one who mattered doubted of Mr. Spock’s loyalty. And by the way, Spock appeared on every single episode of the Original Star Trek—that means he was always present and connected to the Enterprise. Therefore his value to the crew and to the show cannot be overstated.
“I have been, and always shall be, your friend.” –Mr. Spock
Know the Facts and Make Your Case
While it’s likely that none of us are Vulcans, as a scientist Mr. Spock was highly intelligent and took every opportunity to gather the facts, but he was also a respected diplomat for the federation as well. Not only did Spock gather the facts but he considered them and studied them. As was his way, he presented them directly and honestly as arguments and decisions were made, never failing to respectfully provide input. A leader asks questions and finds solutions diplomatically (and if necessary unilaterally). People often look to leaders because of their unique positions and perspectives, and their ability to make tough decisions based on the fact that they trust their knowledge in the field.
“I find your arguments strewn with gaping defects in logic.” –Mr. Spock, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.
Aspire to peace and prosperity, and make decisions that are right for you
Spock chose a career with Starfleet despite objections from family or other Vulcans. He defied the expectations of many by choosing a life that was different than others may have imagined for him. Though always aspiring to the Vulcan mantra and encouraging others to do the same. It may seem naïve’ but there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to peace and desiring the same for others. And it may seem selfish or narcissistic to aspire to prosperity, but there’s nothing wrong with that either! When you make the best decisions you know are right for you, you will reach that peace and prosperity you long for. Just remember that peace and prosperity can sometimes appear different from person to person.
“Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before”
As a leader, it is your job to take the team places they’ve never been. Show them things they thought maybe they would never accomplish. You should do the same for yourself. That’s what leaders do. Find a niche. Find your unique contribution. Find that message no one else is sharing, and share it! Remember, in order to “Boldly go where no one has gone before” you must first have the fortitude to step up, and make that first decision that no doubt will make all the difference! It’s a big universe and you have the ability to make a lasting impact on the world around you.
Live Long and Prosper! Leonard Nimoy’s Final Tweet:
“I grieve with thee.”—Mr. Spock