If you’ve somehow managed to overlook the classic and relevant brilliance of Yoda (of Star Wars fame) let me help you address this mishap momentarily. Throughout the Star Wars saga, Yoda is the most distinguished and powerful Jedi Master in galactic history. Whilst well known for his mastery of “The Force” and skills in light-saber combat, it’s his legendary leadership & wisdom which is most notable, serving on the Jedi High Council and as Grand Master of the Jedi Order. Truly, Yoda’s unique brand of Leadership 101 offers great guidance ‘take-aways’ that we ought not go without.
In leading the Jedi Masters, Yoda requires an exceptional skill set. He is The Master Leader who in turn directs Exemplary Leaders. It’s this skill set that – when studied closely and internalized – is such a powerful lesson for us.
What are the skills, attributes, qualities and modes of self-management necessary for us to successfully and sustainably lead leaders? Those who are warriors in their own right?
“Secret, shall I tell you? Grand Master of Jedi Order am I. Won this job in a raffle I did, think you?
Foundational To The Master Leader: Behavioural Flexibility
Of all of the skills a leader needs to have in their repertoire, behavioural flexibility has to be at the pinnacle. The ability to adapt and modify ones language, physiology and disposition according to the unique needs of the person being led, is the ultimate skill in intentional leadership.
What about the Warriors?
So what does – a Jedi Knight – a natural leader at heart – need in order to be led?
Warriors are by nature courageous, independent visionaries with a strong focus on action to achieve their goals. They are assertive and back themselves. They have instinctive clarity about mission and quest. They are also well recognized by their peers.
On the surface, it would seem like Yoda had his work cut out for him. But as a natural warrior myself I can tell you, there are a few easy yet effective ways to lead a leader.
Requirement #1: RESPECT
Warriors are driven by significance – they thrive on being respected.
Respect – meaning to hold in esteem or honor – is a strong behavioural motivator for this type of person.
3 Easy Ways To Flex Behaviour Which Demonstrate Respect To The Warrior:
Commit time. An investment of yourself and your personal time demonstrates a level of interest and genuine care that will clearly communicate to the warrior they are valued, highly regarded and worthy of your presence.
Listen actively and with genuine interest. Eliminate distractions to focus your full attention on the warrior you’re with.
Chart an exciting and challenging course. Warriors are natural visionaries so you will need to be on top of your game to keep one-step-ahead of them.
Follow through on these and the warrior will feel special and uniquely seen. This allows for a valuable relationship of mutual respect to develop.
“Much to learn you still have…my old Padawan.” … “This is just the beginning!”
Requirement #2: EXPERTISE
There is nothing that will lose the interest of a warrior more than rubbish.
Rubbish in word or rubbish in action. Too much detail in the spoken word – A story with no purpose – Or just outright lack of actual fact — will all undermine your leadership authority with a warrior.
Hypocrisy in word and behaviour are intolerable so make sure you do what you say!
3 Noteworthy Points On Leading A Warrior In This Space:
Be direct. Warriors are sharp and quick. They are always focused on results. Being direct speaks the language of a warrior and will ensure continued engagement.
Act quickly, purposefully and know your trade. Warriors never stay in one place hesitating or deliberating. They believe in their own instinct and spontaneity, so you will need to make sure you are on the ball at all times.
Focus on issues. The stuff around the edges is rarely interesting to the warrior so be mindful to stay on task. Never talk about your feelings – you will lose a warrior instantly!
A commitment and dedication to be the master of your trade both verbally and through behaviour will speak volumes to the warrior. This will become an active demonstration of your worthiness as a leader.
“If you end your training now – if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did – you will become an agent of evil.”
Requirement #3: EXCELLENCE
Warriors hold themselves accountable to extremely high standards so you will need to do the same.
Uncompromising benchmarks of excellence in all areas should be the status quo when leading a warrior.
Top Recommendations In Expressing Excellence:
Set exceptionally high standards for yourself. Clearly communicate what you expect and the quality of the desired results. Hold the warrior accountable to high standards of performance.
Serve as a model of excellence in everything you do. Your very position, role and status serves as a powerful example of what may be possible for the warrior to achieve. Your presence is proof of the journey that is to be made.
Provide a mirror. Your experience serves to illustrate what the warrior seeks to accomplish, so be sure to be worthy of imitation. Looking at you, the warriors should see something of themselves in the reflection.
Benchmarks of excellence provide a perspective and a vision to a warrior of both a challenge and an attainable future. They provide a mental image of brilliance and success, both highly motivating to the warrior mindset.
“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”
Warriors are naturally competitive, aggressive, decisive and results orientated.
They prefer to move fast, take risks and get things done.
They like to be in charge, in control and enjoy power.
A team of warriors, or an individual warrior on your team, can be a challenge. Maintain certainty in your ability and take heed of the behavioural tips outlined here. Do this and you can be assured that the warriors under your leadership will become the most productive, motivated and loyal members of your team.