Starfleet Leadership Academy - Leadership Through Star Trek

ENT: The Catwalk

When Archer Drops the Ball, We Pick it Back Up

4 months ago

On this episode, Jeff Akin reviews Star Trek Enterprise, The Catwalk (Season 2, Episode 12). He will examine the leadership approaches of Captain Archer. And we try something new to do so!

We learn how to make meaningful, professional relationships using emotional intelligence as a framework.

Five Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence:

  • Self Awareness
  • Self Regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

In this episode, we are going to do a fan rewrite of The Catwalk. We will demonstrate the value of building relationships with your staff and teams through emotional intelligence.

Pretending that Archer’s a strong leader

[3:32] It’s September 18, 2152. They found an uninhabited planet and are going to spend the next week surveying it. Trip and Archer are excited to sneak in some R&R. An alien crew reaches out to them and lets them know that a new tronic storm is on its way and they’re going to need shelter. Archer allows them to come aboard, but they have to figure out how to survive the storm.

[4:18] Trip suggested. The catwalk and flocks confirmed that it should be shielded enough, but they will have to shut down the reactor. That’ll keep the temperatures back there livable.

[4:50] So many stories, books, movies, just brush off that most equalizing moment of all humanity using the bathroom.

Rewrite Time!

[6:36] We cut to Archer walking up and down the walkway. He’s smiling at the crew as he walks by a crewman, pulls him aside, and asked for help on a crossword puzzle.

[7:41] What’s important here is that Archer doesn’t insert himself in a disruptive way in the workplace. Managers tend to stop people from doing work all the time. The approach Archer is taking here respects their time where he takes a moment to connect with them but then moves along to get back to the important stuff.

[9:43] Choosing to go out and share a space with the crew was a masterful move by Archer that will go a long way in earning the trust and the respect of his crew.

[11:31] Archer chooses to trust them, and they begin planning a response. In the meantime, the militia is starting up the reactor. Now, this starts a timer. It’s going to heat the catwalk up to over 300 degrees that’ll kill the entire crew trip guesses that they’ve got 20 minutes tops again.

[12:54] Mayweather executes his part of the plan steering the ship for a plasma Eddie that will rip the ship apart. Archers in the galley and ends up in a firefight with the militia soldiers. Tensions continue to build. The reactor shutdown is taking longer than expected, and archers pin down.

[14:03] The episode ends with Archer making some jokes about Vulcans along with the personal bonds they formed.

Connecting with your Teams and the People you work with

[17:27] There’s some issue going on between staff. The staff person said something about the GM being out of touch and not even knowing the staff. The GM responds, “I don’t have to know the staff.” That moment steered so much of how Jeff lead in that company. He made it a priority to develop a professional relationship with each member of his team. Jeff was able to leverage those relationships several times to everyone’s benefit.

[20:04] This is not an easy skill to master. But it is so powerful once you do. The first thing to keep in mind about these relationships is that they are professional. That doesn’t mean personal stuff is off-limits. But it does mean that you need to have some boundaries, like you don’t hang out all the time and share a bunch of family pics with each other on Facebook. You need to connect on a meaningful level, but that connection should be rooted in trust and integrity.

[22:32] Using appropriate social skills and humor – topics and voices relevant to the situation – at the right time is vital. Just being comfortable interacting with the person. Strong social skills are the skeleton that all the other emotional intelligence dimensions connect to when developing meaningful relationships.

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