1. Get Yourself a Mentor
Every Jedi starts off as a Padawan. Obi-Wan Kenobi had Qui-Gon Jin. Luke had Obi-Wan. Heck, even Darth Vader had a mentor…although I don’t know if I’d recommend anyone ask Emperor Palpatine to be their mentor. You might end up with some nasty third-degree burns!
Still, having a mentor is important and every Jedi know this. As future adjudicators of galactic justice, they need someone to show them the ropes. Maybe this means understanding the complexities of your new job, or tactfully intervening in a regional trade dispute. Either way, it helps to have someone with you who knows what they’re doing…
2. Hone Your Craft
Practice makes perfect. Whether your craft is using Photoshop, writing ad copy, or killing baddies with a lightsaber made from Adegan crystals—you need to do it a lot before you get good at it. People won’t follow you if you can’t even lift an X-wing fighter out of a swamp. C’mon!
So make sure you spend some time on Dagobah meditating, or working away in front of your computer. Put in the hours and you will see the results of your labour—perhaps even in the form of a medal hung around your neck by an Alderaanian princess! Although that planet was destroyed by the Death Star, so perhaps unlikely…
3. Show Respect to Authority
Every Jedi must bow before the Jedi Council. Similarly, every leader knows that there is a time to be a leader and a time to be a follower. You have to be able to figure out when someone will do a better job than you.
Sometimes you have to learn that the hard way—and have Yoda bail you out of your poorly-chosen lightsaber duel with Count Dooku—but you’ll eventually acknowledge the wisdom of recognizing when the task is just too big! Knowing when to ask for help is an important skill to cultivate, both as a Jedi and as a leader. It shows that you know the limits of your own abilities.
4. Trust Your Instincts
“Release your anger?” Luke knew this wasn’t good advice, even though it was his Dad giving it to him. Sometimes you have to follow your own intuition and do something different than what’s expected. If you want to be a leader, you have to choose your own path. Maybe this means running off to fight Darth Vader on a floating city in the clouds, or going with a challenging new approach to an ad campaign.
Being a leader can be hard at times, but great leaders will grow from their challenges. After almost getting eaten by the sarlaac, they’ll bounce back and defeat the obstacles in their path! There are so many things that the Jedi can teach us about leadership.
We should probably watch Star Wars again—and take notes.