Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy May the Fourth!

It's May 4, or "May the Fourth" (as in "May the Fourth[Force] be with you"). It's a day where science fiction fans everywhere celebrate the movie series Star Wars. I've been a huge Star Wars fan since I was wee, and saw the original Star Wars (where Han shot first!) in the movie theater. I even had all the toys.

If you aren't familiar with Star Wars, it's a sci-fi story about the Rebellion versus the Empire, set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But if you have seen Star Wars, here's an obligatory Star Wars joke:

If you don't "get" it, then read it in Yoda's voice you did not.

But I've already written about leadership lessons from Star Wars, so today I'll write about leadership lessons from Klingons. It's not Star Wars, but it's still sci-fi.

Klingons are a race of warriors, motivated by honor and glory. But in a good way. Think Samurai mixed with a bit of Viking - or maybe that's Viking mixed with a bit of Samurai. The point is that Klingons enjoy battle, but only with honor. They like to sing about it, too. Here's a catchy ditty that Klingons might sing as they fly off to battle:



You can glean leadership lessons from anywhere, even from Klingons. Here are three lessons:

Don't hold back.
When Klingons decide on a course of action, they commit to it. Even if that means dying horribly. Because hey, why do something if you're not going "all in"?
Make a decision.
One of my pet peeves is when someone can't seem to make a decision. They waffle about their options, and never seem able to make a decision. If you find yourself in this situation, think like a Klingon: make a decision, and go with it. If it's wrong, at least you made the best decision you could, with the best facts at hand.
Don't assign blame.
There's nothing to gain by assigning blame. We need to work together to reach our goals. If one of your warrior clan makes the wrong decision, don't assign blame; instead, work around it, find a way to turn that upset into success. Or you can die with honor and join your ancestors in the Black Fleet, where you do battle for ever and ever. That works too.

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