“Risk is our business. That’s what this starship is all about. That’s why we’re aboard her.”
Whenever an interesting or challenging mission came up, Kirk was always willing to put himself in harm’s way by joining the Away Team. With his boots on the ground, he was always able to make quick assessments of the situation, leading to superior results. Kirk very much believed in hands-on leadership, leading the vanguard of his crew as they explored interesting and dangerous situations.
When you’re in a leadership role, it’s sometimes easy to let yourself get away from leading “Away Team” missions. After all, with leadership comes perks, right? You get the nice office on the higher floor. You finally get an assistant to help you with day to day activities, and your days are filled with meetings and decisions to be made, And many of these things are absolutely necessary. But it’s sometimes easy to trap yourself in the corner office and forget what life is like on the front lines. When you lose that perspective, it’s that much harder to understand what your team is doing, and the best way to get out of the problem. What’s more, when you’re not involved with your team, it’s easy to lose their trust and have them gripe about how they don’t understand what the job is like.
This is a lesson that was actually imprinted on me in one of my first jobs; landscaping with a local small business. During those long, exhausting summer days, the owner of the business, Clark, would spend a lot of time back at his office focused on new business and how to resource his three landscaping teams. But one thing he made sure to do every day was to come out to each work site, roll up his sleeves, and help us get the job done correctly the first time. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. The fact that he did so not only made me respect him all the more, it also meant that I trusted his decisions a lot more. In much the same way, I’m sure, as Kirk’s crew trusted his decisions, because he knew the risks of command personally.
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