Live Long and Prosper: CEP
Leadership Skills Learned from Nerd
Sara Pinkus, Solium
Bernice Toy, NASPP
Christine Zwerling, CEP, Twitter
Setting the stage
Character profile: Star Trek Captain
Character profile: Darth Vader
Character profile: Gordon Gekko
Leadershipin real life
Game time: What would an effective leader do?
From theory to practice
Names and images from various television shows and motion pictures are used throughout this presentation.
We are using them under the fair use provision of copyright law.
All rights are retained by initial owners.
Setting the Stage
Fiction has always been a way for authors to explore familiar concepts in unfamiliar ways.
This genre, in its many forms, has always featured lots of different characters with different perspectives and experiences, and can give viewers a new way of looking at a common experience.
Setting the Stage
Whether or not you've ever watched any of these shows doesn't matter: the following leadership concepts are still relevant to you as an equity professional in 2016. And that's the beauty of the genre.
Before We Make the Jump To Hyperspace
Think about some of the situations in the workplace that have been causing you stress.
Keep those in your mind as we go through these examples, and think about how you can demonstrate some of these characteristics.
Questions are always welcome!
To demonstrate different leadership principles in space, we are going to take a look at two different story arcs:
Star Wars Darth Vader
Star Trek: Voyager Kathryn Janeway
Star Trek: Voyager focuses on the crew of the USS Voyager, and the different things they encounter as they explore the vast reaches of the universe trying to find their way home.
Stranded 75 years from Earth searching for a renegade ship (originally piloted by Janeways 2nd in command, Chakotay).
A crew with such an critical task needs talent at the helm: enter Kathryn Janeway.
Janeway is put in impossible situations with untenable choices, and yet she creates humor, freedom, and a shared sense of purpose.
Leading in Difficult Situations
Much of what Janeway did on the show can be thrown into the ring as a good example of effective leadership. Many of these examples came from situations where the Voyager was dealing with the unknown.
The modern workplace is no stranger to uncertainty, because things are changing all the time.
Throughout the series, Janeway demonstrated effective leadership behaviors, in situations where she didn't always know the answer.
Never Stop Learning: added new species in her crew
Knowledge is key to survival, and so it is worth taking risks to learn.
Have Advisors with Different World Views: Chakotay
Bring on board different points of view and build alliances, but dont abandon your core values.
Be Part of the Away Team: she sometimes deliberately put herself in dangerous situations to find new sources of food and fuel.
Leaders need to lead and inspire the troops, particularly when the going is tough and people are worried about their survival in hostile territory.
Key Tool: Creativity
In that scene, Voyager needs to travel through some hostile space.
The scene shows shes tough when needed and uses the tools at her disposal.
Janeway ignores the conventional, diplomatic style of negotiation because she knows it won't produce the intended effect.
She assesses the situation and speaks in a way her audience will understand to achieve a mutually beneficial goal.
Key Tool: Inclusiveness
Janeway is a good example of an authoritative leader working within a formal command structure: she provides guidance and sets expectations, but she also welcomes input from all group members.
Chakotay is Janeways second in command
Balances Janeways skills management style
Similar but fills gaps
Defers to Janeway always respectful
Military vs Corporate
Establishing ground rules
Key Tool: Teamwork
What is the leadership structure in your department? Do you have a second in command? Back up? Who are your advisors?
What tools are available to you and your leadership team?
Whats one thing you can do to communicate better through your leadership team?
Lets jump to a galaxy far, far away to see another type of leadership style.
Darth Vader didnt start out as the big bad guy.
Darth Vader started out as little Anakin Skywalker, a young kid who loved pod racing who wanted to make a difference.
He made some decisions, tried to bring peace and security to his new galactic empire, but he made a critical mistake: he was too single-minded.
The galactic empire was based around a single individual, not an institution or a mission.
In his focus on a single goal, he neglected to consider other options or learn from his failures.
By keeping all of his minions in constant fear of getting force-choked, he also deprived his most valuable resources of feeling as though they had a stake in the organization.
Key Tool: Delegation
Effective delegation does not just mean commanding people.
It means trusting them to do the job to the standards that have been set, without having to intimidate or change behavior with a punitive environment.
Vaders statement about failing him for the last time is the opposite of delegation: the specific outcome does take into account the reality of the situation.
Key Tool: Positive Attitude
You can see from the clip that he controls with fear and negativity, and no dissenting opinions are welcome.
Darth Vaders negative attitude will keep his team in constant fear: if he had adopted a more positive stance, hed treat the setback as an opportunity.
Leadership based on fear and executed without positivity isn't true leadership, and it's obviously not conducive to long-term success.
Key Tool: Communication
Darth Vader is the worst at effective communication.
Not only does he discourage open channels of feedback and insight, hes created an atmosphere of fear. He also speaks to everyone in the exact same way.
Being able to foster an open dialogue for all is essential, as is being able to change your communication style to accommodate for differences in the communication style of others.
Think back to the force choke scene: Grand Moff Tarkin, Vaders direct report, had a team of people who also reported to him.
He had to respond to Vaders demands and tactics, while still trying to motivate his team.
While the film doesnt really show us how he does this, its not hard to imagine that he probably passed along the threats and intimidation and weve got a similar clip to show this.
Key Tool: Inspiration
Even if theres a wrench in the leadership structure somewhere, you can still strive to inspire others to achieve.
An effective leader is able to inspire others to achieve greatness, not motivate them with the avoidance of punishment.
In this clip, Kylo Ren does not strive to inspire, he simply threatens.
Key Tool: Confidence
Oftentimes, an ineffective leader can be experiencing a crisis of confidence.
In the clip, Kylo Ren doesnt have faith in his own abilities, and that leads him to distrust those working closely with him (and for him).
Confidence breeds trust in oneself and others, and its an important tenet of effective leadership behaviors.
Do you have a manager who reports to someone that rules by fear? Or perhaps the other way around a manager who rules by fear who reports to someone who doesnt?
What makes that ineffective? Or effective?
Does understanding the reason for their leadership style help you in your interactions with them?
Wall Street-style Leadership
Lets stick with fictional characters, but take a look at an example thats closer to home: Gordon Gekko.
Wall Street-style Leadership
Gordon Gekko was a stock speculator in 1980s New York City.
His famous quote: Greed is good.
He demonstrates a ruthless pursuit of more: more money, more influence, more power.
He used his power and k