In today’s business environment, industries are being disrupted
at a never before seen rate. Innovation is essential for companies to
survive. Leaders have to take chances on new products, new ser-vices
and new business models if they want their companies to
continue to thrive. It is true many folks don’t want a leader who
will do the equivalent of flying into an asteroid field or parking
inside a space worm, but innovation requires a high degree of risk
taking and leaders who bring out their inner Han Solo are more
willing to take those chances.
Could there be a better example of Han Solo being decisive than
when he shot Greedo in the cantina? In a life or death situation,
Solo let the situation play out only until he was sure of his options.
Then, when he knew it was time to decide, he committed to a
course of action and pulled the trigger.
Think about how strongly fans of Star Wars reacted when
George Lucas suggested that Solo didn’t shoot first. Fans were
outraged at the idea that he didn’t take charge of the situation.
Everyone wanted to think of Solo as decisive and ready to act.
It’s a core part of his personality and one of the big reasons he is
Now, no one is advocating for blasters in the boardroom! But
there is a real desire to have a leader who doesn’t wait until it’s too
late to take action. One of the chief complaints that employees
have about the C-suite is lack of clarity around strategic direc-tion.
When leaders are decisive like Han Solo, they find that their
employees are more eager to follow their lead. Just don’t forget
about what was said about being flexible as well!
Solo has that hard-to-define quality about him that just makes
him a “cool guy.” He doesn’t break a sweat when he’s face-to-face
with Jabba the Hutt. He and Chewie quickly put the Falcon back
together while under fire from the Empire. And, of course, he gets
the shield down so the Rebel fleet can go after the second Death
Star. Solo has been cool from the first moment audiences met him
on screen and that coolness inspires people to follow him.
But daily office meetings don’t involve anything as slick as float-ing
away from a Star Destroyer hidden in with the trash, so how
can a modern Rebel Leader emulate that degree of cool in the
boardroom? Well, remember that what makes Solo cool in all of
these situations is his confidence that he can do it. Remember his
quote, “Never tell me the odds?” Solo lets everyone around him
know that he can get the job done no matter how hard it seems,
and then he follows through.
In the office, leaders need to combine keeping cool with being
reliable. When times are hard, employees want to know that their
leader has a steady hand on the tiller. Whether their leader feels
steady inside or not is irrelevant. The modern Rebel Leader needs
to work on projecting confidence and ensuring they don’t drop
the ball on their commitments. By adding some Rebel coolness to
their day, leaders find that people will want to stay by them dur-ing
In every movie, Solo says that he’s just in it for himself; all he wants
is the money. But when push comes to shove, audiences see who
Solo really is – he’s a hero who is willing to sacrifice it all to do
Actor Harrison Ford
at the Star Wars:
The Force Awakens
premiere in 2015
buzzfuss / 123RF Stock Photo
26 ❚ JUNE 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL