Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Princess Leia: Rebellion; Leadership and Vulnerability

“Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!”

This is the last thing Senator Leia Organa ever thought she would have to say, through a little R2-D2 droid no less. It had come to this. The Rebellion was frozen – everyone was now captured by the Empire. Things looked hopeless. Princess Leia, much more an activist than a princess, would never negotiate with the Empire. No amount of torture or coercion could ever warrant negotiation with such violent autocracy. Rebel against tyranny or die trying was the motto of the Rebellion. And as the top rebel leader, Senator Organa was not about to set any base example of compromise, even if it meant death.

Indeed, death by Vader’s hands seemed quite forthcoming.

Princess Leia is the ultimate tough cookie. Very much a diplomat and politician like her real mother and adopted parents, yet unyielding like her nemesis father. Throughout the Star Wars prequels Leia displays very forthright, almost stereotypical masculine leadership skills with the Rebellion and the Jedi command. Her attitude to high authority is that of fellowship, as is expected from a Princess and Senator. Yet her warmth towards the wookies, her care for her loved ones, and universal concern for the welfare of a galaxy is unsurpassed. In fact, Leia’s alpha female leadership style would not have encompassed helplessness and vulnerability if there was a balance in the Force. Yet, it was that vulnerability, that call for help that set the ball rolling for the return of the Jedi, and a balance between the Light and Dark.

Alpha leaders prefer to either give commands or do it themselves. To ask is to go through pain akin to three simultaneous root canals. At that moment when Leia decided to program R2-D2 to seek Obi Wan and secretly present him with the Death Star’s blueprint, she didn't think she had a chance of escape, nor of survival. She was captured, without power of guards, ammunition, title, or any apparent assistance. What she had was hope, a pet droid, the will to act, and most of all, the ability to swallow her pride and seek help, even if it was a long shot.

What is most powerful in Leia’s decision to trust the Force and ask for help on a long shot, is that it began the unraveling of destiny. R2-D2 reached Obi Wan through Luke Skywalker, they both saw her message, and in hiring Han Solo and Chewbacca to rescue Leia, the Light side of the Force was activated. Had Leia decide to not try the long shot, to not ask, and to die silently at Darth Vader’s hands, there would be no new hope. There would be no new heroes! So, who says there isn't great value in vulnerability? There is, and all leader types must attest to this. The point is to have the wisdom to know when to ask for help, and when to take matters in your own hands and strangle the hell out of your enemy with its own chain, while looking hot in a metal bikini.

May the Force be with us…


Written exclusively for the Global Rockstars Community at G+ 
 A.F., 2.11.15