Five Qualities from Leia Organa That Can Make You A Better Leader
⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛
Who is your favorite popular culture leader? For me, it's none other than "Star Wars" Princess/General Leia Organa. Since I was a little girl, Leia has been one of my eternally favorite female role models, and over time, I have employed some of her tactics in the workplace. (And not just her "A New Hope" pink eyeshadow and lip gloss.)
Who could forget her smarting off to Darth Vader, falling in love with Han Solo and choking Jabba to death with the chain of oppression? I wanted to be Leia before I even knew what my actual leadership style was.
Wondering about your leadership style? Check out this list.
No matter you choose to lead, Leia Organa can also be your spirit animal. Here are five leadership qualities Leia Organa possesses in canon (and legend) tales in a galaxy far, far away:
From an early age, Leia Organa showcased her natural ability to relate to people. From conversations with her parents on her home planet of Alderaan to debating a bill on the Senate floor, Leia’s passion showed through in every part of her being. As a leader, all of us want to stand for something. Even if we’re not at the helm of our own Rebellion (or Resistance in the newer movies), we are still in control in some facets of our lives. If you’re the PR leader of your organization or are just trying to figure out what to make for dinner, show your passion. Authenticity will get you far. And so will the causes you believe in -- both personally and professionally.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with colleagues and subordinates. Even if it’s just a “hey, can you be sure to put toner in the copier before today’s meeting?” to an all-hands-on-deck meeting where you outline some difficult strategies and tactics, be front and center with communication. If you’re the leader, don’t be subservient like a Stormtrooper. Be commanding and respectful while using two-way communication. One of the scenes that resonated with me as a young girl was the scene on Hoth when Princess Leia briefs pilots before they embark on their impending battle with the nearby Empire. She stood her ground, and she was one of the first examples of open female leadership I witnessed. It still gives me chills, honestly. And if you’re like Leia, use a little sass, flyboy.
Let’s face it, if you’re the leader, you have to talk the talk AND walk the walk. That means you must remain in a constant state of learning -- how to be a more effective leader, the best methods to communicate with your team, the latest industry standards. Use persuasion and other tactics to express your messages and get things done. Everyone remembers the Leia monologue R2-D2 housed within the data card Leia handed over to him. She knew to outreach to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. Know your audience and cater to their needs.
The Force is strong with Leia, She is able to think inwardly about her strengths and weaknesses while also making split-second decisions. For better or worse, she owns her decisions, whether she makes a tactical call on the bridge or watches as her beloved Han Solo walks away again. She never gives up on hope, either. All of us can learn a lot from Leia’s relationship with the notion of hope. Optimism is contagious. And it’s the right kind of leadership if you want to create a healthy work environment within your office or on a project.
Like most of us, Leia dealt with severe losses in her life, from her parents and her homeworld due to the Empire’s actions to her son Ben to the temptations of the Dark Side. Her resilience is one of her most commendable traits. She seemingly lost everything, yet she still fought the good fight with courage and grace. You can employ this trait in your professional life, too. If you didn’t get the client you wanted or can’t seem to get out of your own tunnel vision, it’s OK. All of us go through life’s ups and downs daily. Stay strong, and don’t let your team see you sweat, even when you feel all hope has left the galaxy.
Copyright © MMXVIII Hourglass Omnimedia, LLC
Kaylin R. Staten is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer. She owns Hourglass Omnimedia, a consulting company based in Huntington, WV.
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