In the TV series Star Trek, the mission of the Starship Enterprise was, in the words of Captain Kirk, “To boldly go where no man has gone before”. Its crew was supremely well equipped to achieve this aim. Unlike many leadership teams they were a powerful mix of diverse characters giving them the versatility to survive everything the universe could throw at them.
In Captain Kirk, they had a visionary leader who was charismatic, audacious and brave. By his side was first officer Spok, the perfect foil for the impetuous Kirk, who was able to assess situations based solely on fact and logic. Then there was Dr McCoy whose primary concern was for wellbeing of the crew and the friendly beings they encountered on their journey. There was also someone you could rely on to keep things going. This was Scotty who was forever repairing the starship’s shields and the engine in the wake of alien attacks. Finally, there was Uhura – she spanned all the personality types and was the glue that kept the team together.
Take any one of these personalities out of the equation and things would come unstuck. A great vision without critical analysis, care for people involved and someone to make things happen is doomed to failure – a vital lesson for any leader creating a team that can prosper through challenge and change.