The biggest blockbuster movie for the current year is expected to be the next installment of the Star Wars saga. Here are some business lessons we can learn from Star Wars.
1. Trust your instincts or “Use the force”
The most important thing that a Jedi can learn to do is use the force. Rather than relying on outward instincts, the true Jedi Knight looks inward and feels what to do. Luke demonstrates this when he is first learning about the force and is able to knock down a training tool. In the end of the first film, Luke is able to destroy the Death Star once he turns off his ships targeting system and just uses his gut. The shot is a miracle. Sometimes reason or your senses can betray you. If there is a nagging feeling somewhere inside of you, always revert to it. Your instincts will serve you well as you navigate corporate waters.
2. Thriftiness and innovation will get you the things you need
Luke has a strong mechanical instinct. He is able to fix things and to reprogram things to make them work according to his needs. One of the best examples of this is with C-3PO. But, the boy Anakin manages to build his own racer out of scrap parts. His combination of different kinds of technologies creates a great ship and he wins the pod race. Sometimes you may find that your business requires technology or products that are not available or on the market. It is important to have a good internal systems or engineering department that can provide your company with individualized internal structuring and meet your diverse needs.
3. Keep yourself free of the negativism of nay-sayers
When Luke first meets Obi-Wan and the Jedi ask him to go with him and help in the Galactic War, Luke says that he can’t. He explains that he is needed at home and that he must stay. Obi-Wan hits it on the head when he says that Luke’s comments aren’t his own, but are a regurgitation of what his uncle has engrained in him. It is easy to be affected by the ideas and thoughts of those around you, especially those that you look up to or trust. But sometimes people are just wrong. If you feel like you can or want to accomplish something great, than anyone who stands in your way or tries to discourage you should be listened to with careful filtering.
4. The only way to truly know someone is to see him or her in action
Interviews can be hard because it is difficult to discern the real qualities of the candidate simply from talking to them for a few minutes. Interviewees usually know what to say and often their true personalities don’t show through. The interview is a staged and scripted event. It is better if you can get to know the person on a more real-life level through interactive training and assessment. Yoda is particularly good at this when he meets Luke for the first time. He doesn’t immediately reveal his true identity and is able to see how Luke responds in a real situation. He deduces that the young man is rather impatient. If Luke had known that he was interacting with Yoda from the beginning, he probably would have been much more respectful and patient.
5. Don’t let greatness alienate you from other great people
One of the most interesting relationships in the Star Wars saga is that between Hans Solo and Leia. There is obvious sexual tension between them from the beginning. They both have a great sense of self-importance and power. At the end of the second movie when Leia admits that she loves him, Hans Solo simply replies “I know.” You would expect him to say something like “I love you too,” but his arrogance continues to shine through. Their relationship is continually halted by the fact that neither one is able to admit the greatness or skill of the other. Great business leaders need other great minds to empower them and help their company grow. No one is the ultimate authority on all aspects of business. Don’t let your arrogance push other smart, capable individuals away. Be the first one to acknowledge skill and talent and you will gain powerful allies.