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Lessons in Leadership: Captain James T. Kirk
Category: Leadership

In The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch covers a lot of ground. He talks about managing yourself (self-esteem), managing others (leadership) and managing relationships (building bridges).

I especially loved his take on leadership, using Captain James T. Kirk as a model of a strong leader:

“If you’ve seen [Star Trek], you know that Kirk was not the smartest guy on the ship. Mr. Spock, his first officer, was the always-logical intellect on board. Dr. McCoy had all the medical knowledge available to mankind in the 2260s. Scotty was the chief engineer, who had the technical know-how to keep that ship running, even when it was under attack by aliens.

So what was Kirk’s skill set? Why did he get to climb on board the Enterprise and run it?

The answer: There is this skill set called “leadership”.

I learned so much by watching this guy in action. He was the distilled essence of the dynamic manager, a guy who knew how to delegate, had the passion to inspire, and looked good in what he wore to work.  He never professed to have skills greater than his subordinates. He acknowledged they knew what they were doing in their domains. But he established the vision, the tone. He was in charge of morale.”

Lead with purpose. 
Build the culture. 
Empower your team. 
Boldly go.

If you know your organization/business can be and do more but may not know what you want, how to get it, or how easy it can be to overcome your fear of making a change – whether it’s a tweak or a leap – give me a shout.

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