I discuss the leadership qualities of lesser-known Star Trek captains such as Jonathan Archer, Christopher Pike, and Kathryn Janeway. Each captain faced unique challenges, from navigating new technology to being stranded in a distant galaxy, and had to rely on their leadership skills to succeed. I also praise the character of Worf for his honesty and willingness to take on challenges. The episode ends with a challenge to listeners to consider their own leadership skills in unfamiliar situations.
[Music] Have you ever wondered how other Star Trek captains do amazing things and sometimes we forget what great leaders they are.
That’s what we’ll talk about today.
[Music] You can use logic to justify almost anything.
That’s its power and its flaw.
Captain Catherine Janeway.
I realized after the last episode because a friend, Allison at podfeet.
com, mentioned to me what a great leader Catherine Janeway is.
And she brought up some great points about that.
And so I thought I would do a second podcast on other leaders in Star Trek that I didn’t mention last time.
The one thing that you realize about Star Trek, particularly with Captain Kirk and later with Picard and the other series, is that space has been a part of humankind for a long time while these TV series are going on.
So everyone is used to aliens, used to other civilizations, space stations, starships, travel by space, and all the things that had been settled long ago.
And that might make us forget about how Jonathan Archer is a great captain.
He doesn’t do everything perfectly.
He can be weird at times compared to other star captains.
But the thing that you have to know is that he was the first Star Trek commanding officer that was part of the fleet and so everything is new to him.
His father was a famous engineer and he spent most of his time on Earth.
He never met another alien, never been to space, was a flight pilot, and he generally grew up not trusting Vulcans because you could tell that they were not telling Earth people, humans, everything.
They were keeping some things to themselves and there were reasons, good and bad, why that was.
So when it comes to Archer and why he was such a great Star Trek captain is because he had to do everything from scratch.
His chair wasn’t right.
We are used to the majestic captain chair on the various Starship Enterprises, but at this point, his chair wasn’t comfortable.
It wasn’t really suitable for a captain to sit in for as long as they have to sit in it.
They had to figure out what kind of better chair you could have.
That was the least of their problems.
Stuff broke down, the warp drives were very new, and then there were all these aliens they encountered, which are known to us as Star Trek fans.
The Andorans, the Tellarites, the Zindi, the Romulans, and suddenly Earth is thrust in the middle of a war, a cold war, and he has to navigate some battles between people he’s never even heard of.
He’s never even met them before, and he’s not even sure at times which side he should be on.
Now he knows he doesn’t trust the Vulcans much, but they seem like they are good people, maybe.
And then you have other people who are pretty aggressive.
But But there are reasons when Archer goes into space where he trusts people, doesn’t really trust people, doesn’t know who to trust or what to look at.
He has this entire new world of space that’s new to him.
And when it comes to diplomacy, just like in our world, we do not expect our astronauts to be diplomats.
We have an international space station, so you have to be a little bit diplomatic, but not with these major battling people.
So Archer really was stuck in a very interesting spot.
He has a dog, Porthos, and his dog is fantastic.
I love Porthos.
And I think at this point, we don’t even have transporters, so everything has to be handled through shuttles and physically going places, which makes all types of leaves to different planets and ships much more dangerous and a lot harder, and there’s no quick way to get back.
So we have to give Archer a lot of credit for being a pioneer and facing space for mankind as a first.
The next captain I’d like to talk about is Captain Pike.
I have to tell you that Captain Pike has been one of my favorites since the very first time I saw “Star Trek.
” The secret was is when they first aired “Star Trek,” they did not air the episodes, “The Cage” and “The Menagerie” with Captain Pike.
And then when the show took off, Suddenly it became a part of the story and you got to see what happens to Captain Pike.
But then there’s a new Star Trek series, which I highly recommend called “Strange Worlds.
” Christopher Pike is just such an enigma of a character.
In almost every rendition, he has a great sense of humor.
He’s also a mentor.
You can see him literally looking for young talent.
And Captain Kirk is one of those people he brought up and taught how to be a good captain.
Pike is bold and he also tries very hard to bring up talent in his own ship.
People like Spock also educated in leadership and how to run a spaceship.
He’s a fantastic communicator.
I just love listening to anything Captain Pike says.
And to be real honest with you, the new Pike is played by an actor called Anson Mount.
And boy, I have a crush on him.
I don’t know what it is about that character and the way that actor plays that, but he does a great job and I just can’t wait to see more of what he does.
When he was on Star Trek Discovery for just a few short episodes, he and Spock and Number One showed up in such a strong way, I suddenly became less interested in Star Trek Discovery and more interested in “let’s bring those characters to the screen” and you know what they did.
very courageous, he always does very hard things, he tries to think about things outside the box, and he’s not against playing a certain role in order to get himself into a certain negotiation or to try to escape out of a bad situation.
And he says, you know, sometimes things go badly and you just have to laugh.
That is a great way to look at things going badly.
Sometimes when you have people in Star Trek, namely enemies, and something goes wrong that person’s dead.
But Pike, he allowed people to fail and then let them fix it in a more educated way.
He has respect for his team and he just never gives up.
He is patient and he keeps working with his team in order to make them work better.
So I’d like to give a good shout out to Christopher Pike and what a great leader he is in the movies, also the TV show, Strange Worlds.
And then the last person to talk about in this episode is Captain Janeway and what an amazing leader and human being she is.
It’s one thing to talk about Kirk and Picard and Sisko, all fantastic leaders, But you know what.
Janeway could count on nothing.
We talked about Archer and how he had new technology and had to think outside the box.
Four different issues, four different situations, how the ship worked.
But literally Janeway had her crew and that was it.
The story of Star Trek Voyager is they get thrown to the other side of the Milky Way galaxy – Star Trek takes place in the Milky Way galaxy – and it’s 75,000 light years from Earth, an estimated 75 years to get home, and that’s if nothing goes wrong.
Nothing breaks, nothing like that.
But Janeway had no one and nothing to help her with it.
She was her own captain, there was no Federation, there was no one to back her up, if something went desperately wrong there’s no space station you can fly into in order to get repaired, and it was a perilous situation.
The good point is that she has her crew, they’re good crew, likable people, some of them are a little bit rogue, and this other ship, a Maquis ship, gets also thrown into the far side of the galaxy.
It’s a small ship, they have no chance of getting home whatsoever.
Despite that this is a paramilitary group, and we got to chance to meet them on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, they’re trying to feed the Kardashians and try to win freedom for people who are being suppressed by the Kardashians.
But this ship has been known to do violent things been known to even do violent things with Federation ships So you can’t necessarily trust them and we find out later that Jane ways first-in-command was posing as someone who was also part of this group trying to infiltrate it So there’s a lot of mistrust a lot of anger.
A lot of people said no we should be in charge We’re tougher we fight harder Jane ways like this is my ship.
I’m a starship commander I’m gonna be captain, but she makes one of the McKee leaders her second-in-command He’s a good guy.
He’s a good actor But that trust has to build over years and sometimes it breaks down There’s also B’Elanna Torres Chakotay that’s her first-in-command and some other people that were a part of this group a lot of them didn’t want to follow in the same footsteps and sometimes even when it came time that they had a chance to leave the ship and just not go home, some of the key would just rather stay over there than even go home.
So everything was up in the air and Janeway had to hold people together, keep them together, make sure that they keep to their mission of getting home.
She has a husband on earth, a lot of people have families, and they want to get back.
So So she tries very hard to keep everyone together.
They pick up some other alien people who just want to get out of the place they’re at to join their ship and return to Earth with them.
Sometimes there’s a little bit of trust issues there too.
So really Janeway is this amazing captain because of the situation she’s in and the hardship she faces with no one on her side.
her likeableness, her leadership, her understanding that people have to have fun sometimes.
They have some fun in the holodeck, but they also have to be careful, ration things, sometimes they run out of energy, and she always has to keep that tender alliance going.
There was no doctor on this ship, so they had a hologram doctor.
They also had Tom Paris, who tried to learn and become a medic and help out the doctor, but he’s kind of got that boyish, well, let’s say bravado, maybe even rebellion in him.
So he’s the fly in the ointment.
He’s always the guy who just doesn’t necessarily do the right thing, or at least the way Janeway wants to have it happen.
They also pick up their first borg and talk about your trust issues, but Jerry Ryan, who is seven of nine, gets brought home from Star Trek Voyager and changes the entire future of everything because her knowledge of the Borg helped humankind survive and defeat the Borg.
A lot of good things to say about Katherine Janeway.
And in the end, she is one of my favorite captains.
She really gave us strength and a dignity and made a situation interesting.
Because again, we’re used to seeing things that we know and things that we understand when it comes to Star Trek.
And this was an entirely different take on it.
I think too, I probably haven’t laughed more at a Star Trek series than I did at Star Trek Voyager.
Really is a fun and funny show.
And primarily it all relies on Janeway for making her humor such a key part of that show.
And of course you gotta give a special shout out to Worf.
Worf was in Star Trek The Next Generation, he was in Deep Space Nine, he was in a lot of the movies, and his impact on all of the various captains and places that he showed up was strong because he’s not afraid to say the bold thing, even if it may intimidate or hurt other people.
He is honest to a fault and is willing to take on challenges, take on difficult situations in a way that makes it hard for almost any other Star Trek person to do.
I think by the time humans get to space, we’re taught, “Be nice.
Don’t be so aggressive.
” But the Klingons, they never got that word.
We first contact, Worf did amazing things, even while injured, to try to defeat the Borg and take back the captain.
In Deep Space Nine, he was also able to show a little muscle whenever there were battles going on with the wormhole and the people who were on the space station.
I think his biggest leadership challenge had to be when he had a spinal cord injury and it was possible he was going to be paralyzed.
Now for a Klingon, that means it’s time for you to die.
But you know what.
He had a son and he realized probably the hardest leadership lesson of them all, that even a wounded war, who’s a good father is more important than a dead war who dies by honor.
For playing such a good character, and I think the interesting thing about it is the Klingons are not easy to be around.
You know, I found them annoying in most of the Star Treks and I didn’t necessarily like when Klingons had a lot of airtime on the TV episode or even in the movie, but he played such a fine line of being noble, being a Klingon, but also understanding nuance a little bit better than the rest of his people.
So it made me appreciate not only the leadership of War, but also the actor who plays him.
What a good line he fell in between.
And to give you a quote, there was an episode with Cisco on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
Cisco says, “I suppose I don’t have to tell you to keep a close eye on him.
” Wharf says, “At the first sign of betrayal, I will kill him, but I promise to return the body intact.
” Cisco says, “I assume that’s a joke.
We will see.
” He just played that line that you couldn’t tell if he was kidding.
And I think it probably helped him because I think the enemies didn’t know if he was kidding either.
Another interesting interaction was also in Star Trek Movie First Contact where Picard said to Worf, “You’re afraid.
You want to run, you coward.
” And Worf said, “If you were any other man, I would kill you.
” And I believe him.
And I think if he was any other man, he would kill him.
But Worf knew his place and he knew how the Federation worked, but I don’t think he would really kill Picard in the end.
So my challenge to you is think about Janeway or even Archer.
What kind of leadership have you shown in situations when you’re in the unfamiliar.
Maybe you’re on a first day at a new job, maybe you’re traveling to a country you’ve never been to before, but what kind of skills and values do you use in order to succeed in a situation where you just don’t even know what to do or who to rely on.
Everyone, thanks so much.
I appreciate you giving me that opportunity to do a second Star Trek episode.
I do love Star Trek.
I could talk about it all the time.
I even had a thought, wouldn’t an entertainment podcast be great.
But honestly, how many podcasts can I have.
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Have a wonderful week and remember that getting back home in perilous times can happen with small steps.
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