Star Wars fan or not, you'd have to be living under a rock to avoid the buzz surrounding the latest movie. Turns out, the Star Wars saga is overflowing with great leadership lessons. We figured it was only fitting to take a page out of the epic movie series and examine the best business lessons these films have to offer. Here is what we learned:
"Do or do not , there is no try."
Even if you haven't binge-watched the movies a million times, chances are you have heard this quote. The wise Yoda gave this advice to Luke. Approach all your tasks with confidence. Show commitment to your work and promise not to try but to do. This is not only a great lesson for leaders but for people as a whole. It turns out that approaching things with this assured mindset can be highly effective. "A bulk of research shows that when people are put in situations where they are expected to fail, their performance does plummet," explained psychologist Scott Kauffman in Psychology Today. "When they're expected to win, their performance shoots back up."
"Be bold enough to risk a loss when it could mean an even bigger gain."
"Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
Yet another wise suggestion from Yoda, this leadership lesson is simple: Let go of your fears. While a little trepidation in leadership can be useful, fear is generally what holds us back from greatness. According to Forbes contributor Alex Knapp, humans have such a strong fear of losing that they would rather avoid a loss than obtain a gain. Re-learn your approach to fear, move past your natural inclination toward hesitation and be bold enough to risk a loss when it could mean an even bigger gain.
"Wonderful is the mind of a child."
At one point during Star Wars a Jedi master turns to a group of children for help in solving a problem. This translates to a great piece of leadership advice. Trust all your employees, regardless of experience. Fresh faces can provide unique perspectives on old issues within the office. Sometimes newbies are the best source of ideas and information. Give them their fair shot with equal communication and respect.
"Fresh faces can provide unique perspective on old issues within the office."
"Don't center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs."
Be present in everything you do, explained Knapp. This lesson from Qui-Gon Jinn rings true for leaders across the board. It is easy to get distracted by a long and daunting to-do list. Don't let your future worries distract you from whatever task is at hand. Focus on one item at a time instead of concerning yourself with problems that have yet to materialize. In the same vein, try to create a less distracting environment for yourself. There are so many new ways to be distracted today, argued Knapp. From emails to phone calls all the way down to social media, it is very easy to lose your concentration. Try to combat this in any way you can and pass any new task management skills you have learned down to your employees.
"Let go your conscious self and act on instinct."
Obi-Wan Kenobi spoke these words to Luke. His message? Trust that what you have learned so far has prepared you to face what is ahead. Above everything, you need to have confidence in your leadership. Remember, your personal power has a lot of influence over the office as a whole. When you exhibit that you trust your business instincts, your staff will learn to do the same. Lead by example and trust that you have the intuition to make the right decisions.