Leadership Lessons from Science Fiction

I found two great original blog posts about bosses and leadership that I want to share with you:

The first is The 7 Types of Bad Bosses According To Star Trek (And How To Survive Them) by Charlie Jane Anders.

Charlie discusses 7 bosses: The Bully, The Father Figure, The Politician, The Cold Fish, The Blamer, The Queen Bee, and The Hot-tub Boss. Interesting take on the Star Trek universe being applied to corporate leadership stereotypes. We can all relate and have probably encountered one of these bosses sometime in our careers.

The second post is Seven Habits of Highly Effective Spaceship Captains by Annalee Newitz.

Annalee uses several spaceship captains from the scifi universe to teach leadership skills. They may be fictional, but they have skills that translate into the real world.

Intimate Leadership-Leadership Advice from Star Trek

Star Trek 2-Wrath of KhanRecently, HBO has been repeating Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. I am not sure why they repeat this particular movie over and over again but I try to watch pieces of it whenever it is on. Yes I am Trekkie at heart. I have been since I started watching reruns of Star Trek with my father in the 70s.

When you watch something this many times you begin to pick out details and maybe over analyze it too much. For those of you who are not familiar with the plot: the crew of the Enterprise reunites; battles Khan Noonien Singh with casualties; and wins to save the universe. You get the idea. What is interesting about this plot is this is the one that Spock sacrifices himself for captain, ship, and crew and ultimately dies in the end.

I started to think about Leader (Kirk) and follower (Spock) relationships. Why would anyone sacrifice himself or herself? The relationship between Kirk and Spock go beyond captain and first officer. Their relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. Both Spock and Kirk know and trust one another very well and are confidants of one another.

Being an intimate leader means your relationships with your followers goes beyond a typical superficial relationship. You form a closeness and bond with your followers and they with you. You trust them and they trust you. This is the ultimate relationship. You are willing to sacrifice all things, including your life, for each other. How many of us can truly say we are willing to sacrifice for our staff? Or are our staff willing to sacrifice for us? Granted, we probably would not sacrifice our life. Do you have that kind or relationship? Do you want that kind of relationship?

The relationship between leader (manager) and follower (staff) is important in that a strong bond allows you to accomplish any task and overcome any obstacle. The relationship between Kirk and Spock allowed them to boldly go where no man has gone before.