I grew up with Star Wars.
Did I have a lightsaber made from a yardstick? Yes.
Did I go see the movies in the theater when I was young? Yes.
Did I have the action figures (action figures are not dolls, jerk. They are posable toys that I could play with. Wait, that sounds very doll-like...)? Yes.
I wouldn't say I'm a nerd (my wife would argue that point)....I would say I love great story. And any story that can bring together the generations, that's a story I'm proud of.
I did see the new Star Wars and loved it (saw it twice). I've been a fan of Director JJ Abrams since Alias, Lost, etc. He's sitting right next to me at my "Dinner for 5" party where I can invite anyone I want to pick their brain. (Don't worry, I have a Biblical Dinner for 5 for those of you who are upset I don't have Jesus or Moses.) JJ seemed to grab the right elements to pay homage to the past and invite a generation to enjoy this timeless story. With that said I saw some great moments in the movie that stuck with me (no massive spoilers but for those that would actually care about the spoilers you probably saw the movie already) and thought I'd share them with you:
7 Leadership Lessons From Star Wars: The Force Awakens:
1. Your Small Part Now Plays A Greater Part Later.
We see Lor San Tekka hand off a valuable piece of information to the X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron. This piece of information would lead the Resistance to a person who will be critical to their survival. The part you play is bigger than you think. No matter how small your act is, it chain-reacts to a bigger events. And you may not see the end result, yet it makes a difference.
Do you ever feel like you can’t make a difference? That your decision is meaningless or too small? It’s not. What you’re doing right now is making a difference for someone else in the big picture. Just be obedient, do the right thing-no matter how small and it will make a difference even when you don’t see it.
2. Great Adventures In Life Begin With Yes.
When Finn finds Poe he had a choice. To stay in his situation that would only lead to despair and regret or say yes to the moment he was given. His "yes" to free Poe not only saved Poe but himself. That’s where her great adventure began. He took a chance and said yes to an opportunity.
Your faith journey is less frustrating when trying to manage all the “no’s” in your life. Why not simplify your life and say “yes” to what God is calling you to do. That yes kept Finn on track through his whole journey. When he wanted to give up or run, his determination to follow his initial “yes” lead him to a place of making a difference he never thought possible.
You will have an opportunity to say "yes" probably sooner than you think so be ready.
3. Don’t Be Intimidated By the Resistance
"The Resistance will not be intimated by you.” - Poe Dameron
The Resistance was a scrappy, low in numbers, and their morale was low because of the ground the First Order was taking. The First Order was powerful, armed, had plenty of followers and seemed to be advancing in every situation. Still the resistance held their ground. They knew what they were fighting for. They knew their enemy, their cause and their orders. They knew what was at stake and knew the cost was if they lost. They weren’t going to give into intimidation.
We will face resistance in our lives. People will challenge your leadership. People will resist your faith. People will try to stop your efforts-some knowing and some unknowing. You’ll face numerous opponents as you move in a direction. Some will follow. Some will not. In extreme cases, some friends will become enemies because of what you are standing for. You will face resistance but don’t be intimidated. Do what you know you must do.
4. Never Forget Where Home Is
"Chewy, we’re home." - Han Solo
Chewy and Han had been away from the Millenium Falcon for so long, they’d missed it. It was their home, after all.
You’ve got to know where your home is. Home may not be where you grew up but home is where you can be yourself, find belonging and get inspired. It’s where the relationships around you encourage you, believe in you and keep you on mission. Home is where you don’t have to be someone else but you can find peace in simply being who God made you to be and not only you but others around you celebrate that. It is where you not only become refreshed but inspired to keep moving, keep risking and keep dreaming. Find “home” and make this the center of your life. Find it and guard it. There’s nothing more valuable.
5. When Torn Always Do The Right Thing.
As the movie progresses, we begin to see that Kylo Ren is a divided man. He desires to belong to the dark side of the force. Still, he feels a pull to the light side. He’s torn. He’s confused. What feels good isn’t good. What’s wrong seems more powerful than what’s right. And Kylo Ren's choice for the dark side affected his entire trajectory of his life.
Leaders will be divided at times. You have to make decisions that are difficult and don’t always feel the best. You have to make a choice and we can “give in to the dark side” or we can choose the right thing to do in a situation.
As a leader or person of influence it is normal to feel pulled in multiple directions. Have the resolve to do the right thing at all times. Decide right now it’s not always going to feel good, be celebrated or understood. But be determined today to Choose the best course of action and take it not matter what.
6. You Can't Run From Your Calling.
Rey found a lightsaber. This lightsaber once belonged to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. After touching it, she runs. She wants nothing to do with it. However, the lightsaber is calling to her and it’s her destiny. She can’t run from it.
Calling is a sacred and a scary thing. Especially when it goes against what we want. But our calling is not just about us…but it’s for those around us. What you do with your calling will affect others around us. Running from the voice that is calling us and saying no is saying no to opportunity to affect and even save others around us. Running from your destiny is running from affecting the destiny of others.
We can run from our calling. But our calling will eventually catch up to us one day so why not listen to it now and face your destiny?
7. You Don’t Need A Mask
"Take off that mask. You don’t need it.” - Han Solo
Han tells this to Kylo Ren yet it applies to each and every one of us.
We wear masks to protect ourselves. We feel masks keep us from pain, make us invincible and keep us from seeing who we truly are.
They don’t. They mask those things. We don’t need them. Masks keep us from seeing who we really are. We wear masks because we don’t like what we see. We don’t like what we’ve done. Take off the mask. Be authentic. Be free.