William Shatner, Chris Pine, or even little Jimmy Bennet, whatever iteration of Captain James Kirk, the man always knew how to run a ship. Here are 3 lessons taken from the big man himself that any small business owner can learn from!
- BUILD A CREW OF EFFECTIVE, RELIABLE WORKERS
Is your team of employees functioning like the Enterprise—like a well-oiled machine? If you’re a small business owner, it’s especially important that you surround yourself with a team of fresh-minded, well-rounded people with excellent problem-solving skills and the motivation and independence to step in and help out when necessary. Soft skills are increasingly important in today’s business world, so invest in those and futureproof the skills of your employees.
It’s possible, even likely, that the position you’re creating will shift a little over time based on the company’s needs; having a staff you can rely on to keep your business moving forward despite these fluctuations is crucial to your success.
- INNOVATE ON THE FLY
Once closely guarded nerdlore, now mainstream cinema knowledge (Thanks a lot, Abrams), the Kobiyashi Maru was every Starfleet officer’s proving grounds. Designed as a no-way-out test of character when faced with the inevitable, the test was designed to be unbeatable. No one should have been allowed to win—so Kirk changed the rules.
When your business is up against the wall and the end is in sight, innovate. Your business plan is an important document, but if it’s limiting your innovation and holding you to rigid, repetitive motions, it’s time to make a firm decision. Kirk didn’t believe in no-win scenarios—and if you want your business to thrive, neither can you.
- PLAY MULTIPLE ROLES WITH EASE
Captain Kirk ran his ship the way he might run a small business—providing leadership, but also taking a hands-on approach to leadership, preferring to get out there and get his hands dirty. Kirk could have taken a loftier, more Picard-like approach to captainship, but instead, he spent a lot of his time out there on the front lines: clearing all public communication to make sure its up to his standards, making face-to-face contact with potential strategic partners and alliances, even ridding the workplace of Tribble infestations (cuter than your ordinary office infestation, but much more boring).
As a small business owner, you’re not just going to be sitting passively in your captain’s chair watching your crew perform. You’ll be going on away missions yourself, meeting and networking with others in your industry—not to mention occasionally filling in as customer service, inventory manager, and even janitor! Expect these no-so-captainly roles, and you won’t be taken aback when they occur.
RUN YOUR BUSINESS LIKE CAPTAIN KIRK AND KEEP YOUR OPERATIONS SHIP-SHAPE!
If you can channel your inner James T. Kirk, you’ll be able to meet challenges with confidence, style, and a twinkle in your eye while inspiring the confidence of your crew. Boldly go where your business hasn’t gone before: to a fruitful, financially secure future!