Advice from the Captain

Over at Forbes, Alex Knapp has put together a list of five valuable lessons for leaders, as gleaned from the career of James T. Kirk.

And a marvelous list it is. Usually with this sort of exercise, I can point out the two that are great, separated from the two that are so-so and the one that is lame.

But I think all five are solid.

It would behoove our current government to pay special attention to the second item: Have advisors with different world views. I am reminded of when a past world leader, US President Bartlett, wanted to hire a Republican in his White House.

Leo explained it this way: “The president likes smart people that disagree with him.”

As the Forbes piece points out, many a past tragedy could have been avoided if only people of power liked smart people that disagreed with them; rather than just viewing smart people who disagree with them as targets to be destroyed.

Speaking of destruction, the principle that applies more directly to my career as a writer is “Blow up the Enterprise.”

A big trap for writers is to fall in love with a piece of our own work in progress – a character moment, or line of dialogue, or cool action sequence. With love comes blindness; hence it is often the thing one loves in a piece that is the very thing keeping the writing from succeeding.

And thus the need to be able to blow up the Enterprise when the craft calls for it.

Just my thoughts,



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