“Your Focus determines your reality”-Qui-Gon Jinn
Anyone, even if he or she is not a fan of the Star Wars series, can get past this particular observation when it comes to defining leadership qualities in both personal and professional life. It is truly the focus of a leader that gives shape to his work or mission. If one has the seeking spirit, then one finds avenues for learning even in a simple story. The Star War series is one such drama that chronicles the rise and fall of the Last Jedi, the protectors of the universe. Through the six movies, the directorial team of George Lucas and JJ Abrams etched leaders whose mission was not only to lead but to foster capable people too.
Through the setting of a distant Galactic Empire that reminiscences of a modern-day organization, the movie offers the leaders of today, five eternal leadership guidelines such as:
- Identifying inherent talent within people and fostering them to become capable leaders. Luke Skywalker in an iconic scene says, “There is still good in him. I’ve felt it”, pointing to the capabilities for good. As a leader in an organization, one needs to develop the capacity to bring together diverse talents and build a team that can collaborate and generate fruitful results. A single problem could be approached in multiple ways, so having a diverse set of people work on it can make the solutions invincible.
- Ensuring transparency whilst dealing with different situations. Han Solo narrates, “Bring 'em on. I'd prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around”, he points towards a leader’s capacity for transparent and open-hearted conversations with his team. Leadership is not just about braving challenges in business; it is also about attacking those challenges from the forefront. The organization is all about people and it is only through transparent interactions and communications that people management challenges can be mitigated. When individuals in an organization have clear visibility of their development path and Key Responsibility Areas, they perform better.
- Transforming the fear of failure and indecisiveness by expanding one's capabilities to lead by example. Yoda comments, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you”, he points towards a very critical character trait of a leader that is to transform his fear of failure by acquiring new skills and polishing the existing ones. So, how does a leader expand his capabilities today? One oftheway is to empower oneself with education and learning strategies that will always guide you through difficult times, like the learnings from in Executive programme in Leadership Management (EPLM) by IIM Calcutta. This particular course is designed to strengthen your prowess for influencing others and at the same time motivating them to outshine their past performances. One can only stand out as a leader when one realizes the areas of improvement and consciously works towards transforming them into one’s strengths.
- Building a great vision for the teams to encourage them to develop their skills and keep them motivated. When Krennic says, “We were on the verge of greatness. We were this close to providing peace and security for the galaxy”, he is precisely creating a vision for his team to keep moving ahead with courage and hope. Unless a leader builds up a great vision that compels individuals to learn, interact and collaborate, every project or every endeavour can fall apart. It is this great collective goal that keeps individuals talents connected and motivated.
- Co-creating an atmosphere of mindful decision-making at all times. Krennic pronounces, “I’m one with the Force, and the Force is with me”, he affirms actions based on the mindful state of life. Leadership in any organization and at any level are fraught with challenges. These can negatively impact one’s capability of delivering the best and therefore, it is very important to practise mindfulness to be able to detach and look at the bigger picture. This helps one to re-align the entire team towards greater organizational goals.