Starfleet Leadership Academy - Leadership Through Star Trek

DS9: In the Cards

Who Cheers up the Cheerer Upper?

5 months ago

Join Jeff Akin as he talks about morale and how to improve it with a strength-based approach. Today, Jeff will be focusing on season 5, episode 25 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine titled “In the Cards.” This episode will showcase how you can keep you and your team motivated while maximizing your efficiency through incentive-based economics. There’s a lot to unpack, so stay tuned and enjoy the episode!

The Value of a Support System Like the crew in this episode, it can be challenging to show up when things are falling apart. When you are the leader of a team, one of your duties is to motivate the team, or more accurately, to create an environment in which people can choose to be inspired. A few ways to do so include spending time with people, hearing their problems, and working with them towards solutions. At the beginning of Episode 25, Sisko keeps people in a positive space by connecting them with the mission and actively participating in conversations with his team. But where does he go when he needs that same encouragement? As a person, we need a support system, a safe space to just be, or another person to encourage us. Sisko’s son did it for him, so like Sisko, everyone needs someone to support them.

Maximizing You and Your Team’s Efficiency As a manager, you want to maximize the efficiency of each team member. To do so, you need to ask the question, what do they want or what do they like? Most people feel rewarded when they know their work matters and is related to their interests and values. Hence, talk to your team and find out what they are, and then do them. The results will amaze you. Take the strength-based approach, for instance. With this approach, you learn the person's strengths and interests and then connect them to their work as much as possible, like incentive-based economics. Now, not every situation you find yourself in will fit this approach. But if you can learn what your team members value, you can find opportunities to connect them to the team’s overall mission. In this episode, Jake and Nog work to connect people to what was important to them. And on that journey, they improve the morale of everyone they helped. The goal was to help Sisko, but they allowed everyone to get there. If you follow that strength-based or incentive-based economic model, you might be able to do the same.

About Jeff Akin: Jeff Akin is the host of the Starfleet Leadership Academy podcast. Star Trek is full of great examples of leadership. Hence, he breaks down each episode of Star Trek and points out examples of outstanding leadership, management, lean/six-sigma, communication, and more.

Jeff is also the Vice President at Akin Collective and an Administrator with the State of Oregon Department of Human Services. He is a leader that believes people are essential investments. His mission is to improve the lives of those in his interactions by actively listening, giving authentic feedback, and helping to unleash their true potential. Jeff has also worked in media and entertainment, giving him the unique ability to lead and teach fun and engaging. He enjoys building meaningful connections both in-person and virtually, which has become increasingly important since early 2020.

Support the ongoing production of this podcast by visiting its Patreon.

Episode Transcript

Outline of the Episode: ● [00:37] An introduction to the Dominion from the Gamma Quadrant. ● [01:37] The beginning of Episode 25 “In the Cards.” ● [03:22] “Who cheers up the cheerer upper?” A question based on Sisko’s situation. ● [04:10] How Sisko’s son Jake plans to cheer up his father. ● [07:11] Dr. Greiger, his quest for immortality, and a fetch quest for the trading card. ● [12:11] How to address an issue with a team member, based on Sisko and Jake’s confrontation scene. ● [16:30] Jake and Nog’s relationship being the centerpiece of the episode. ● [17:17] The concept of “There is more to a villain than just being evil.” in Deep Space Nine. ● [19:33] How to motivate your team, even when things get complicated. ● [22:00] The value of a support system for your team and yourself. ● [24:33] How to maximize the efficiency of a team member.

Resources: Psychology Today Article:

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