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Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk

Behind the charming, sweet talking and quick-smiling James T. Kirk was a born leader. Smart, resourceful, and able to read his crew, Captain Kirk knew just how far he could push to get the best results out of bad situations. To this end, Alex Knapp identifies five of the leadership lessons this star-chaser provides, applicable to a CIO, a project manager, or a starship captain. The first tip provided is to “never stop learning”: Captain Kirk may have had an alien in every port, but he also had a book in every drawer. He always took the opportunity to apply this knowledge whenever times got tough. Another lesson is that sometimes you need to give up the thing you love: We are often, in our roles as leaders, driven by a passion. It might be a product or service, it might be a way of doing things. But no matter how much that passion burns within us, the reality is that times change. Different products are created. Different ways of doing things are developed. And there will come times in your life when that passion isn't viable anymore. A time when it no longer makes sense to pursue your passion. When that happens, no matter how painful it is, you need to blow up the Enterprise. That is, change what isn't working and embark on a new path, even if that means having to live in a Klingon ship for awhile. Another excellent point Knapp brings up is how Kirk surrounded himself with people of differing opinions. Spock was much more logical than he, and Bones was more compassionate at times. By creating an environment where trusted advisors could question the captain's mindset, he assured that his leadership would be stronger.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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