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James T. Kirk Would Blow Up a Company to Save It

Written By Michael Ferrara

Created on 2022-11-15 18:42

Published on 2022-11-17 12:52

The leaders of tomorrow will be virtual and digital, not analog and physical. Redefining how you lead is as important as redefining what you lead. Given its focus on future technology and innovation, we believe that the Star Trek franchise offers us insights into these new types of leaders — or captains — that we’ll need to boldly go where no one has gone before. This article is a love letter to every millennial. It’s an invitation to today’s younger generation to embrace the values and principles of yesterday’s older "boomer" generation, who made us all who we are today. We need more James T. Kirk in our world today, not less. But it won’t hurt if we understood him better — especially when it comes to leading in a digital age. Here are the ways Captain Kirk would blow up a company to save it...

Lead with transparency

Transparency is a watchword in management these days. It’s open and honest communication that requires leaders to be vulnerable and open up about their fears, challenges, and their mistakes. One of the reasons why leaders have been so blind to the rise of the millennial workforce is that they have been overly focused on transparency in selection and promotion, not during the actual process of leading. Leaders have been too focused on data and metrics in the selection process and missed that young candidates don’t want to know about the data; they want to know about the people behind it. It’s critical to understand that millennials are focused on the information that can help them make the best decision for the rest of their careers. They want to know the past, present, and future of the organization.

Lead with courage

Courage is the willingness to do what is right despite the fact that you’re afraid. Trekkie leaders should be willing to take chances and make bold decisions in the face of fear. Instead of finding reasons not to do something, leaders need to be more focused on finding reasons to do it. Doing something because you can’t find a reason not to, is the mark of a great leader. Leaders need to be willing to make decisions knowing that they can’t predict the future. Good leaders know that they can’t predict the future every time, but they are willing to go with their guts and make bold decisions that may not work out. When they don’t work, they should be willing to change and adapt.

Lead with humility

Humility is the willingness to take ownership, not credit. Although it’s important to give credit to your team, it’s equally important to take responsibility for mistakes. A leader might get some credit for a high-profile win that a team member had a large part in — and that’s great. But leaders need to be willing to take the fall for mistakes and losses. Trekkie leaders must be willing to admit when they’re wrong, and they must be willing to take the blame when things go wrong. Leaders must be willing to apologize for their mistakes, admit their shortcomings, and ask for forgiveness and help when needed.

Lead with a constant focus on learning

The mark of a great leader isn’t that they have everything figured out, but that they are constantly learning and growing. Some leaders are so obsessed with the appearance of success that they don’t want to let the rest of their team see them struggle. They don’t want to look weak. They don’t want to look like they don’t have everything under control. Trekkie leaders must be willing to show their weaknesses and let others surpass them. They need to focus on helping their team members grow, not on hoarding all the knowledge and holding others back. Leaders must be willing to learn from everyone, regardless of their level or position.

Lead through change

We need more leaders that understand that fear is the enemy of progress. Too many leaders try to lead from a place of fear. They are constantly trying to push their team members to be more productive, more efficient, and to work harder. Trekkie leaders must be willing to lead through change, not from a place of fear. Change is the only constant in our world. New technologies are being developed, new ways of thinking are emerging, and new ways of working are being adopted. Leaders must be willing to adapt to change, and they must be willing to push their team members to adopt new processes and technologies to keep up.

Lead with inclusion

Inclusion is much more than hiring women and minorities. It’s about making sure that everyone is heard and feels like they’re part of the team. Trekkie leaders must be willing to engage with all their team members, not just the ones who look and talk like them. They must be willing to learn from people who are different from them. Leaders must be willing to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, where everyone feels heard, and where everyone feels like they belong.

Lead with exuberance and excitement

Finally, we need more leaders that are excited about what they’re doing. We need more leaders that are passionate about their work and willing to talk about their work outside of the office. Trekkie leaders must be willing to be excited and passionate about their work. They need to be willing to come to work every day with a smile on their faces. They need to be excited to go to work, and they need to be passionate about what they do and how they do it. If your employees can’t see how excited you are about your work, then you’re doing it wrong.

Final thoughts

We are at an interesting point in history. Organizations are struggling to adapt to a new generation of workers. Millennials, compared with previous generations, are demanding more from their workplaces. They are looking for purposeful jobs with flexible hours. They want to work for companies that invest in the community and care about their employees. The challenges that organizations face are significant. However, these challenges represent opportunities for organizations to grow and improve and make sure that people who have previously been left out of the decision-making process feel included and empowered.

Trekkie leaders must take these opportunities seriously. They must recognize that their employees are different and have different needs than past generations. The good news is that there is a lot that organizations can learn from fiction. And there is no fiction more helpful than the Star Trek franchise. This franchise has been predicting the future for decades. It has been helping people to imagine a better future and understand their present. So enjoy your awesome Kirk moment.

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About Tech Topics

Tech Topics is a newsletter with a focus on contemporary challenges and innovations in the workplace and the broader world of technology. Produced by Boston-based Conceptual Technology (, the articles explore various aspects of professional life, including workplace dynamics, evolving technological trends, job satisfaction, diversity and discrimination issues, and cybersecurity challenges. These themes reflect a keen interest in understanding and navigating the complexities of modern work environments and the ever-changing landscape of technology.

Tech Topics offers a multi-faceted view of the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of technology, work, and life. It prompts readers to think critically about how they interact with technology, both as professionals and as individuals. The publication encourages a holistic approach to understanding these challenges, emphasizing the need for balance, inclusivity, and sustainability in our rapidly changing world. As we navigate this landscape, the insights provided by these articles can serve as valuable guides in our quest to harmonize technology with the human experience.