Starfleet Leadership Academy - Leadership Through Star Trek

TOS: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

Change is the essential process of all existence.

5 months ago

In this episode, Jeff Akin breaks down the characters from Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (Star Trek: The Original Series), how Leonard McCoy sticks to the fundamentals when faced with an unfamiliar situation, Spock explaining the necessity of change, and James Kirk’s effective leadership because of his mission statement. As Jeff reviews the episode, focus on each character’s viewpoints throughout the episode’s duration in The Original Series.

Listen to the episode and join Jeff as he talks about the examples McCoy, Spock, and Kirk embody to be good leaders, and more.

Fundamentals, Change, and a Personal Mission Statement Jeff points out strong leadership characteristics for each character. First off, McCoy had to deal with a situation he was not familiar with at all: an entirely new being he has never seen. He says, “When in doubt, the book prevails,” referring to the fundamentals, identifying the variables. Jeff relates that by going back to the basics, you’ll most likely do it wrong the first time, and the rest will run smoothly, rather than doing it wrong every single time.

Second, Spock’s take on the necessity of change represents adaptability. As Spock said, “Change is the essential process of all existence,” trying to persuade Bele that Lokai can change. The premise is that change cannot be stopped; the only thing that can be done is accept and adapt to it. In the workplace context, organizations must grasp the concept of change, so they tend to outperform those that do not and continue to compete and exist. Accepting change in the workplace is a powerful shift because you are compelled to do things differently and better.

Lastly, Kirk maintained a culture that created the best example of the Federation because he aligned his mission statement to that of the Enterprise. Jeff’s take on this is that one is effective in leading by having an aligned mission statement. Having the same goal as the organization ensures a healthy workplace.

Listen more to these characters’ traits that embody good leadership in the Starfleet Leadership Academy Podcast!

Episode Transcript

About Starfleet Leadership Academy: Star Trek is full of great examples of leadership. Jeff Akin, a leader with over 20 years of executive management experience in both the public and private sectors, breaks down each episode of Star Trek, from The Original Series to Discovery and beyond, pointing out examples of great leadership, management, lean/six-sigma, communication and more.

If you enjoy Star Trek, or are even a little Trek-curious, and have an appetite for leadership development, this is the podcast for you.

Outline of the Episode: [00:48] The beginning of Episode 15, “Let This Be Your Last Battlefield.” [04:08] When in doubt, go back to the fundamentals; identify the variables. [07:34] The representation of racism in the form of Lokai’s appearance. [08:56] Conflict arises in the Enterprise when Bele arrives to get Lokai, a political criminal convicted of treason, but Kirk demands that Lokai goes through due process. [12:00] Examining the episode in the context of the time of its airing. [13:27] Bele takes control of the Enterprise and changes course to Cheron. [16:24] The episode gives an accurate commentary on racism. [18:54] “Change is the essential process of all existence,” says Spock. [19:44] The discovery of the destruction at Cheron caused by the civil war; Lokai and Bele ran off to pursue each other. [21:06] Kirk and the rest of the crew leave behind Lokai and Bele on Cheron. [22:43] Jeff shares his thoughts about the episode in general. [24:42] The importance of having a personal mission that is aligned to your organization’s mission. [29:12] The importance of change in the micro and macro setting.

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