Not long ago... in an office not so far away
Yeah, yeah… Star Wars is coming out and here is yet another column about what you can learn from it. I know… it’s cheap use of a current event to make people click and read what you have in store. Well guess what… SHUT IT. I love Star Wars and I love correlating pop culture to business and life lessons so you are going to have to deal with it. I will try to be original, but bear with me.
Whew. I feel better now. Anyways… here are some lessons we could all learn from Star Wars, in business and in life.
IT’S NOT HOW YOU START, IT'S HOW YOU FINISH
Throughout Star Wars you have characters that start not so amiable only to redeem themselves in the future.
Han Solo starts out as a money grubber who only cared about himself only to then become the biggest badass in the galaxy (yes, I said it Luke. Han is like Batman, he doesn’t need powers to be cool).
Lando Calrissian betrays one of his best friends to save his own ass only to save the same friend when he needed the most. He was a good guy after all.
Finally, Darth Vader. The darkest, meanest, most powerful man in the galaxy sees his wrong doings and saves his son from the evil Emperor. He even gets to be a cool hologram at the end by the bonfire. It is never too late to make a difference and save your soul.
SOMETIMES LIFE SUCKS, BUT IT IS NOT THE END OF THE TRILOGY
Empire Strikes Back is the Start Wars movie that ends in the most hopeless of tones. Luke finds out Vader is his father, loses his hand. Lando betrays Han Solo who is cryogenically frozen and handed to Jabba the Hut. All is bleak.
There will be times in life where you will feel that there is no silver lining. There is nothing that can be done. Game over. However, know that there is always room to make your story a trilogy. Return of the Jedi is a redemption tale, where Luke and his allies turn things around and save the day. Why not make your next move YOUR Return of the Jedi?
“DO, OR DO NOT. THERE IS NOT TRY"
No blog on Star Wars lessons can be complete without this gem from Yoda. When facing an impossible task Luke is so out of his depth that all he can say is the he will try to lift his x-wing from the swamps with the force. That is when Yoda imparts his wisdom with the quote above.
Being resolute is key to execution. If you go into a project or endeavor thinking you will do your best and try to make it work, you will undoubtedly fail. That is because self-doubt will take over once things get tough. The only way to get to the finish line is by KNOWING that you will get there. No matter what.
“THE FORCE RUNS STRONG IN YOUR FAMILY. PASS ON WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED”
I promise that this is the last Yoda quote. When Yoda is dying in Return of the Jedi he tells Luke he is the last of the Jedi. His final message is to take what he has learned and pass it on (which I hope he does in The Last Jedi movie, in theaters now).
In leadership, being the all-knowing is not the goal. The goal is to infuse the ones in your charge with the knowledge you keep. Think about it. How many times has someone come to you asking for a solution to a problem and you jumped in and took care of it yourself. All you have done is give that someone incentive to come see you again with the same problem. Now if you impart your knowledge on your team, then you have fulfilled your purpose as a coach and leader.
AT THE END OF THE DAY YOUR FRIENDS ARE ALL YOU NEED
Star Wars is the ultimate team building movie. Yes, it is also about family, the balance between the dark side and the light, and transcending into the best version of yourself. However, none of it would have been possible if it weren’t for people banding together in pursue of a common goal and being there for each other even when things were bleak. If you take any one of the key players out of the equation the goal of destroying the Empire is foiled. They do it together. As a team.
So, take a page from the Star Wars book and realize that you are not in this alone. Rely on those who share your vision and are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
Andre Mello is a Business Coach and an avid Star Wars fan. He has been in coaching and leadership for over 10 years. If you would like to connect with Andre please visit www.wysecoaching.com