Captain Kirk and The World of Work

Always true to the Enterprise’s mission, Captain Kirk can teach us a few things about being successful on the job.

Document Lessons Learned

Captain Kirk and the other members of his crew are frequently found updating their personal logs. Even in the mist of chaos and danger, Kirk finds time to make a few observations about the situation.

Have a record of obstacles that were solved on the job. This will save time when something similar is encountered in the future. Keeping track of tasks also provides objective data for future promotions (or job interviews).

Be In Motion

Besides the fact that Captain Kirk’s ship is literally always in motion, Kirk is action personified. Whether faced with an attacking ship or his own evil twin, Captain Kirk comes up with a plan and moves on it.

Each day is filled with a series of choices. Research has shown that when moving towards our goals, even when not moving at warp speed, we are happier people. Trying to stay content while remaining in the same position goes against nature.

Find opportunities to move forward. Offer to give a presentation on a topic of interest. Read up on the latest news in your field. Be prepared for the unexpected by continuing to grow. Expect change and take actions that move you in the direction of your goals.

Know Your Crew

Spock’s logic is nearly flawless. Bones has a talent for healing, even wall eating creatures made of stone have benefited from his medical expertise. Scottie can cobble broken down pieces of machinery into a viable engine.

Captain Kirk knows his crew. Each person Kirk works with has unique skills and he is able to identify the best and the brightest qualities in those around him.

Speak to those in your field. “The trend now is towards working together, ” A print marketing veteran told me, “In the past we kept our good ideas to ourselves. Hoarding our knowledge (even within our own organization), each one trying to get ahead of the other.”

The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts has been around, but it appears that more people are seeing the benefits and acting accordingly.

Have a Sense of Humor

Star Trek episodes frequently come to a close with the Captain, Spock, or Bones making some light hearted comment about almost dying. Most of us don’t face death in our daily grind, but the little annoyances can take their toll on our health if we don’t learn to laugh. Its easy to get into a rut of complaining about job stressors.

While “venting” may have its place, frequent complaining can prevent us from remembering why we love our professions. Find the funny in your day. And laugh it off.

Love the Challenge

Have a tough deadline coming up? Did a co-worker take credit for some of your work? Step up to the challenge and do what needs to be done.

Captain Kirk always believes that things will turn out alright in the end. His job is challenging, but he knows that there isn’t anywhere he’d rather be. Even at a dream job, obstacles are bound to crop up. Realize that problems are Challenges.

Love challenges for what they are:

Chances to be amazing, just like Captain Kirk.

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