What Would Captain Picard Do?
I used this method a lot when I first became a spokesperson for the press and analysts at Great Plains Software. I was an industry manager in the manufacturing industry and represented an underappreciated (in my opinion) and much-maligned product. Occasionally, I’d get questions that were a little slanted and seemingly designed to get a rise out of me.
Back then, I watched the political talk shows and studied how the interviewees handled the tough questions. Luckily, press and analyst interviews in our industry are not nearly that pointed, but it gave me many good ideas for how to handle the tougher questions. The individual I watched most closely back then was Colin Powell.
This has nothing to do with politics! I admired his ability to stay on point and be unflappable. The last thing you want to be in our business is combative. You are free to choose different individuals with different beliefs. Just make sure that they have a style that fits your industry and your personality.
So what does this have to do with Captain Picard? My point is that you can find inspiration almost anywhere!
Yes, I know he’s a fictional character, but I’ve always had a Trekker streak in me. When I tried to think of an unusual place to find inspiration, Captain Picard came to mind. So, here’s an example from way out in left-field.
For those of you who haven’t seen every rerun at least three times, whenever the Enterprise was faced with a challenge, Picard called his management team together for their insights, analysis and opinions. Sometimes he took their advice. Sometimes he didn’t. He always listened to it, but he owned the decision. And, once he made the decision his team knew it. There was no doubt about who was accountable for carrying it out!
The much younger me admired that style and I have to admit I still do. Hey, I am who I am. I am sure you can find many real-life business leaders who have a similar style, or maybe even a better one for you. I would love to hear where you get your inspiration from.