Star Wars and Modern Leadership

I have seen Star Wars: Episode 7 twice. I cheered. I clapped. I shed a tear or two.

The second viewing I was struck by what a completely different heroine Rey is for young girls today. And that perhaps a few of us 'older girls' could take a few pointers from her.  But in truth - her role offers lessons for ALL leaders.

1. Be Grounded - Remember that quote - be the kind of woman, who,  when your feet hit the ground in the morning, the devil says "oh shit, she's up."

The first time Rey stands her feet hit the ground with a bang, sending dust flying.  It is a statement. An exclaimation of taking up space and not treading lightly. Right away youknow she means business.  There's nothing tentative or unsure about her movement.

2. Breathe:   Rey is tested to the limits many times in Episode 7. And each time, she pauses. She breathes. 

Emotions such as anxiety and being under stress generate tension in our physical bodies. Which in turn  leads us to not breathing as deeply as we could and should in those moments. Take a cue from Rey. When you are tested, find your breath. Breathe deep. Breathe low. Breathe before you respond.

3. Positive Self Talk - There's a moment where  Rey takes the pilot seat in the Falcon. Unfamiliar with the controls and under pressure,  she says to herself "I can do this. I can do this."  Noticeably and notably this is a statement. Not a question. And not only is it a statement - it's a clear statement.  She does not say "I think I can do this" or I can do this, right?"  She doesn't beat herself up. She doesn't back away or ask the guy in the scene to take over. I wanted to cheer! The next clip is a scene where Finn takes control of the ships' gun and says the SAME thing to himself. "I can do this. I can do this. "

Next time you are unsure, uncomfortable or under pressure say to yourself "I can do this."

And then go and do it.

These three things - Sure movement, focusing on your breath in moments of stress and positive self-talk are 3 habits of successful leaders. Try em. I think you'll like em. 


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