A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, we learned a
leadership lessonwe just may not have fully realized it. George
Lucass classic film Star Wars provided more than just
edge-of-your-seat action and a riveting story. It also told us a
lot about leadership, teamwork, and motivation.
Answer the following question:
The leadership team
The leadership team in the original Star Wars trilogy was comprised
of a diverse group of characters, personalities, and backgrounds.
Each contributed their own unique set of skills and talents to
achieve an ambitious yet crucial mission.
The characters and personalities
Han Solo epitomized the daring, adventurous, and dynamic
personality temperament. He was motivated by reward and
recognition. He was charming and engaging, with a mischievous
Luke Skywalker exhibited patience, loyalty, and a desire for peace.
He valued relationships and demonstrated deep caring for others.
Princess Leia was focused, direct, and determined. She motivated
everyone to achieve the goal.
And Chewbacca and C3PO symbolized a hard-working, conscientious
style. They were knowledgeable and capable. Without them, the team
would have been at a loss when they needed to repair the Millennium
Falcon or to translate a language.
Keys to their success
They shared a common mission. Each had their own reason for
fighting against the Empire, and this created a common bond. Every
task they performed was consistently aligned toward the same
objective. Even when the strategies needed adjusting due to
unforeseen circumstances, the goal never changed.
They complemented each other. The characters recognized and valued
their differences. Han was the risk-taker, but his daring
adventures would have been foiled if not for Chewys careful
maintenance and dependability. The twins, Luke and Leia, couldnt
have been more different in temperament, with Leias direct style
versus Lukes reflective demeanoryet both were strong, powerful
They had diversity. The Star Wars team exemplified a team with
diversity of thought, where everyone realized each others
contributions. Each had their own expertise, and the roles
naturally fit the characters talents. The team needed Hans daring
personality, Lukes quiet wisdom, Leias drive, and Chewbaccas
attention to detail. Without one, the entire team would have been
ineffective. They depended on each other, and the whole was greater
than the sum of its parts.
They shared leadership responsibilities. While each performed
leadership roles at various times, none was superior or overly
demanding. They deferred to the person with the strongest skills
for the task at hand.
They stormed. The characters werent without conflict. Chewbacca
sometimes complained when Hans requests seemed unreasonable, and
Han bristled at Leias authoritarian style. Luke was disappointed in
Hans lack of faith in the force and Leia admitted not being able to
relate to Lukes deep understanding of the mystical force. However,
the conflict carried two crucial elements. First, they were open
with their differences. No one teemed with resentment or ganged up
against another. And second, the storming was always respectful
because of the fact that they needed and appreciated each other.
They had each others backs. Successful teams, like this fictional
team, have a unity that is undeniable. While they may have
squabbled among themselves at times, they were a united force
against the enemy. Each was committed to risking their well-being
for the sake of another member of the team.
What does this mean for you?
As trainers, we are called upon to be role models. People inside
the organization look to us for more than knowledge and skills;
they expect us to embody all the skills were teaching.
But were each unique individuals in our own rights. We may be more
naturally inclined to the fun-loving example of Han, the diligence
of Chewbacca, the focus of Leia, or the understated approach of
Luke, and, of course, its important to recognize our strengths. But
just as importantly, we need to realize that none of us can be as
effective individually as we can be with a diverse, unified team
with a common mission.
More info on fun functional fictional teams
Does your training team model the characteristics of a
high-performing team? Send us your stories at Brownell@DrawSuccess.com.
The question used above is from the DrawSuccess Game, which is used
for in a number of training programs including diversity;
leadership and team performance; communication; contribution and
accountability, and more. Visit our website for more fun questions to look
at the characteristics of fictional teams.