This article was originally published on ComeRecommended.com.
Kirk and Spock returned to the big screen this weekend in Star Trek: Into Darkness. During the film, both characters learn a lot about life and leadership.
Here are a few leadership lessons from Star Trek: Into Darkness:
Take responsibility for your actions. The film starts off with the USS Enterprise docked near a primitive planet, for observation only. When Spock’s life is in danger, Captain Kirk decides to expose the Enterprise to the primitive people in order to save him, in violation of the law. When they return to Earth, Kirk is demoted from Captain of the Enterprise. Kirk makes lots of excuses but never fully accepts responsibility for his actions. As a leader (of a spacecraft or a company), it is important to take responsibility for your decisions. You cannot earn the respect of your team if you don’t. The rules apply to you, too.
Have a mentor. Kirk’s mentor is Admiral Pike, the previous captain of the Enterprise. When Kirk is demoted at the beginning of the film, Pike vouches for Kirk and requests to keep him on the Enterprise as his First Officer. Even still, Pike doesn’t give up the opportunity to impart some advice. He says, “There’s greatness in you, but there’s not an ounce of humility. You think that you can’t make mistakes, but there’s going to come a moment when you realize you’re wrong.” A good leader should have a mentor who will advocate for you and give you advice.
Sometimes you need to rely on others. The Enterprise cannot run without the work of an entire team. Captain Kirk has a lot of people he relies on for a successful voyage. Spock is First Officer who takes over for Kirk when he is unable to command the ship. Uhura is the communications officer, specializing in alien languages. Scotty is second officer and chief engineer. Sulu is third officer and helmsman. McCoy is chief medical officer. Chekov is the navigator. Throughout their voyage, everyone has to constantly step in for each other. Spock steps in for Kirk; Chekov steps in for Scotty; Sulu steps in for Spock. A good leader needs to rely on his team members to fill in when necessary.
The team is more important than you. Without spoiling too much, at the end of the film, Kirk does something that puts his life in grave danger in order to save the rest of his crew. While this is an extreme example, it is important for a leader to put the team above everything else. Put your people before yourself. There is no room in leadership for selfishness. A good leader helps the rest of the team succeed (or if you’re Kirk, survive).
These are just a few of the many lessons in leadership from the film. There are plenty more, but they involve some pretty big spoilers. If you’re a sci-fi fan, check out the film to see what you learn.
What else can we learn about leadership from Star Trek?