Leadership Lessons from Star Trek
Gene Roddenbery’s entertainment enterprise, Star Trek, allowed us to imagine exploring distant galaxies. It also helped us to explore the role of emotions in human decision-making. The casts of both the original Star Trek and its successor, Star Trek: The Next Generation have a key character with a rare combination of attributes. Both Mr. Spock (half Vulcan) and Commander Data (an android) have superior intelligence while lacking the ability to have the full experience of human emotion. Their superior officers, Captains Kirk and Picard learned to value and heed the counsel of their brilliant, unemotional crew members, especially in pressure packed moments.
Back here on earth, leaders are not as fortunate as Kirk and Picard. Our staffs and teams are 100% human; emotional beings who can and will express the full gamut of feelings. And when emotions of any type run at a high level, all bets on effective decision-making are off. Unlike Vulcans and Androids, we humans are capable of being overcome by our emotions. Be it joy, anger, bliss, jealousy, or frustration, rational thinking can blow a circuit breaker when emotions overload our systems.
EQ vs. IQ
Both Mr. Spock and Commander Data had high IQs. And since they were emotionless, their EQ (Emotional Quotient) was not as relevant. Although they lacked empathy since they struggled to comprehend the concept of others’ feelings.
With us humans, EQ does matter. In the business world, EQ can be an even bigger factor in our ability to get business results than IQ.
Emotional Resistance Is Futile
Humans are not as easily assimilated as some want to believe.Managers and leaders who lack empathy can be as blind to the emotional frailties of their people as Geordi La Forge without his visor*. Humans are emotional beings and pretending otherwise is hazardous to your wealth, happiness and well-being.
* To bring non-Trekies up to warp speed, Geordi’s visor corrected his natural blindness.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of your emotions and the emotions of others in order to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity.
Since we’re only human, we are best served by being aware of how our emotions can play a part in how things get done.
A Word From Our Sponsor…
What’s Your EQ?
Our assessment partner, TTI Success Insights, supplies us with an EQ Assessment tool that we’re using to help our coaching clients improve their emotional intelligence. If you’re not a Vulcan or an Android and want to lead others more effectively,consider boldly exploring this new frontier. It leads to next generation self-awareness and self-regulation. That in turn, makes a world of difference with your decision-making.
Is Emotional Intelligence really The Final Frontier? It’s idea worth exploration in your quest to “live well and prosper”.