Leadership Tips Based On Star Trek The Next Generation

images-4I recently rediscovered two of the very early books I read on Leadership soon after I had been promoted to a Senior Manager. The Leadership qualities required of a Senior Manager are not that different from those required by an entrepreneur.

Any successful network marketer will have a large network organization. Depending on the type of commission structure your organization can become truly huge, rivaling that of an SME. Where the truly successful marketers have succeeded is they are great Leaders.

Leadership involves management of people if you think you won’t have management issues because you are an entrepreneur then you are not thinking big enough!

The book I am going to reference is: Make It So – Leadership Lessons from Star Trek The Next Generation by Wess Roberts, PhD and Bill Roberts.

The beauty of this book is it is based on a fictional Leader – Jean Luc Picard – set in the future. Not only that if you want to reference the ideas you can actually look at an old episode and ‘get’ the point the authors are making. I reacquired my copy of the book from www.thriftybooks.com and it cost me less that a dollar excluding shipping – even with that is was less than $5 (original price $22).

The first lesson in Leadership is Focus. Dennis Waitley the great American thinker says, ‘focus precedes success’. For those of you who are Star Trek Next Generation (STNG) fans this Lesson is based on the episode where Picard is captured by the Borg and turned into a Bog and becomes Locutus. This was a form of ‘headhunting’ by the Borg because they knew Picard commanded the Flagship of the Federation and would be an excellent person to help them assimilate the human race. Lots of management parallels there!

There was a terrible battle at Wolf 359 where the Federation lost over 90% of the Fleet there and The Enterprise was badly damaged. Locutus proceeded to lead the Borg to Earth to complete the assimilation. This meant that Commander Riker was promoted to Captain and he had to decide who his 1st Officer would be, he chose a Commander Shelby who was not a regular crew member.

This decision demonstrates real focus, he knew for the mission to succeed he had to keep his key personnel in their normal duties, this was the wrong time to make wholesale key staff re-assignments. The upshot was this pivotal decision allowed Riker to beat Locutus, return him to the Enterprise beat the Borg and rescue Picard from the Borg Locutus he had become.

Picard provides a summary at the end of each Lesson of his Personal Journal Entries about the topic under review:

  • To be effective a Leader must have unclouded vision on the path ahead. This vision means a Leader must deal with all of their priorities but not always in a sequential order. (I have a video on this Blog about a simple system Perry Belcher developed that I use for using colored Post-It Notes to identify priorities, but also re-prioritize ‘on the fly)’. In addition a Leader has to see the consequences of their actions or inactions at once.
  • A Leader’s effectiveness is in direct proportion to the amount of focus they apply to their most important tasks.
  • Leaders must develop the mental ability to be adaptive and meet any crisis by inventiveness. Poor Leaders stop developing when they have reached a level of success by mere imitation.
  • The more successful a Leader becomes the more demands are made on their time. This means they must distinguish between productive and non-productive calls on their time.
  • Clarity and persistence of aims reduce greatly the effort it takes to be effective.
  • Talented Leaders often fail because they disperse their gifts too widely or waver about when to give them.
  • Leaders cannot allow their team to become distracted by misdirected competition.
  • If a Leader is not suited to Leadership to begin with, they will succeed at it if they concentrate on enthusiasm and devotion.
  • The best way for a Leader to be picked out for future promotion/success is to focus on doing their present tasks well.
  • Once a Leader understands the power of concentration is the key to effective success they will ensure to instill this skill in their team members.

By focusing on things that affect your ability to be a great Leader first you will release in yourself and your team initiative, power, innovation and imagination. This is why this opportunity I am partnered with has appointed a VP Leadership, has Leadership levels and awards plus a daily Leadership Podcast. If you want to go big and get rich you must learn to be a great Leader.