Leadership Lessons from Star Trek Television series

by Ashvini on October 13, 2010 · 4 comments

in Leadership

I have been a big fan of star trek. I remember as a child, when the Star Trek episodes used to be broadcast over TV set, I glued in at Sunday morning 9:00 AM sharp ( unusual for a late riser) to listen every bit that Kirk, Spock and McCoy ever said. I loved ST just for the drama and actions that it presented.
At this age, I feel that there are many things that one can take from Star Trek, other than usual drama and action. The series also present a lesson on leadership which is lost most of the time in the drama that goes on in it.

It is not easy to be captain of Star Trek Enterprise. You require to be physically fit, possess knowledge of federation rules and you should be an excellent commander, motivator and tactician. You have to perform under pressure, under most stressful conditions, when you are fighting for your survival and when your resources are depleting. You have to gather your team around and expect them to work together to determine solutions to almost unsolvable difficult situations.
Capt. Kirk has been one of my favorite captain in the ST episodes and watching him, I gathered some insights into leadership that I want to share with you. Let’s go.

  • Capt. Kirk always leads from the front

    You would say ‘of course’. He is the protagonist. He has to. I agree. That is the job of the leader. He has to command from the front. Many times, Kirk was involved himself in say rescuing people from a planet, fighting tyrannical lords and putting himself in harms way. Of course he is helped by Spock and McCoy but they cannot match the wit and creativity of their commander. 

  • Capt. keeps his cool in adverse circumstances

  • In most of the episodes, Capt. Kirk and his team found themselves in most difficult circumstances. Kirk is sometimes trapped in situations, where there is no chance to escape. But he keeps his cool all the time and manage to get of of difficult situations. In the ‘Corbomite Maneuver”, when faced with ultimate extinction, he plays a trick on the enemy and manages to avoid destruction. If he lost his cool, then he is not fit for leading starship( that is one of the rule of federation BTW)

    Leadership Lessons from Star Trek

  • Capt. treats his people with respect

  • Kirk understands that each and every team member is important be it Sulu, Ahura or heavywieghts such as Spock or McCoy. He listens to everyone’s suggestion and then applies his mind to find a solution. He has tremendous respect for scientific prowess of Spock and turns to him to provide hints to solve the most difficult problems

  • Capt. always stands up for his people

  • He never lets his people down. The ship and its crew comes before anything else, even before himself. He is always worried about the safety of his crewman and their well being. He acts as a great leader because he is able to empathize with the crew members/

  • Capt. takes immediate steps and decisions

  • in one of my favorite episode “Balance of Terror”, the enterprise assails a Romulan ship which has a cloaking device. Working with his team and taking immediate decision, he is able to decimate a deadly enemy which is more powerful on account of being hidden. He makes calculated decisions on firing the weapons and trailing the ship. He adjusts his decisions from time to time and takes them as quickly as possible.

    I also enjoyed playing Star Trek Legacy on my XBOX recently and taking on the role of ST captain. It is what inspired me to write this post. I hope you like it. It would be great if you comment on this article and provide me with your insights on leadership

About The Author


Mark May 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Yes Ashvini!

Enjoyed this extremely creative post very much! Your thought processes, in revealing many excellent points on both being an effective leader and the many lessons you gained, merely from watching an extremely popular TV show,were very eyeopening.

Your insights demonstrates your very own creativity, vision and vivid imagination! All very needed skills to be an effective leader and visionary!

Thanks for sharing your keen insights!

Aswani October 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Hi Asvini….I would like to add you on facebook. Please let me know your facebook id. You can email me the same here – aks4u2007@gmail.com



Aswani October 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm

This is a brilliant read. Well, I haven’t been a big fan of star trek series. I have watched some episodes. It really gets difficult for me to recognize all those characters from those episodes I watched. Anyways, as you said in your post…I think you learned some great traits of leadership from the same. Keep it up..buddy and many thanks for sharing your insight :)

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