Recent events in my life have caused me to think more about leadership. It is difficult for me to observe anything without evaluating the leadership behind the event. My wife is a big Star Trek fan, and has been watching old episodes on Netflix. As I have watched a few of these with her, I cannot help myself from evaluating the leadership styles and preferences of the Star Trek captains.
I found a post that analyzed the leadership styles of these Star Trek captains here. I will sort of borrow from this site, but because this is a Mormon blog, I will share some of my thoughts on these captains in terms of what kind of bishop they would likely be. Please feel free to discuss these captains as much as you like.
Kirk was a commanding, competitive and charismatic presence. He loved his ship and his crew, and would do anything to save them. He was a bit of a maverick, and would bend or break the rules if it meant winning. He could be very charming and warm when the situation called for it. He had a good sense of humor, and did not take himself too seriously. But he expected to be obeyed. He kept his distance from the rank and file, but had very close relationships with Spock and Bones. The responsibilities of his office weighed on him, yet he was often very decisive anyway.
It would be unlikely to me that Kirk would ever be called as a bishop. Chances would be good that as he served in other callings, he would do or say something that would turn somebody off. His ignoring policy and procedure might be his undoing if he were called, and might prevent him from ever being called in the first place. I believe he would relate well to the youth, and would be something of a hero figure for some. But his recklessness probably would not fly in the church.
Picard was a man with a strong sense of morality, that was more concerned with doing what he felt was right than anything else. Etiquette, protocol, chain of command, policy, procedure, etc., were of very high priority. He could be arrogant, intolerant, and aloof. He was not comfortable in social settings. There was something noble about the man, as he always tried to take the moral high ground.
I think it would almost be inevitable that Picard would be called as a bishop. In fact, I would project him as a Stake President, if not a general authority. The church would love a guy like Picard. Always by the book, always taking the moral high ground. His reluctance to be socially outgoing, and occasional lack of bedside manner, might make him less effective than he could be.
I admit that I have less of a feel for Sisko than the others. He seemed to long for the simple life, and had a sense that life was not fair. Protecting the home turf was important to him in his role. An organized, strategic plan seemed important to him. He was resourceful and innovative
I am afraid that Sisko probably had a better past as a leader than a future. His bitterness and anger gave him some inner demons, that would likely give him his own problems. His ability to organize and to delegate would be important to his success. Ultimately, I think the timing would be wrong for him to be a bishop.
Yes, I know Janeway is a woman, but let us consider her anyway. Janeway could be very warm and personable in private settings. She also was supposedly quite competent as a scientist/engineer prior to her being captain. Like Picard she placed a high priority on chain of command. She expected blind obedience. She was very decisive, and made those decisions quickly, often with little data or information – which seems inconsistent with her background. She also seemed inconsistent with the prime directive – sometimes refusing to violate it even when lives were at stake – other times violating it on a whim.
I think that Janeway could be a good bishop on a personal level. Her ability to be compassionate would really resonate with many people. Yet, her expectations for blind obedience to her sometimes whimsical decisions would turn others off.
Archer had some good qualities, and created an environment of trust and respect. But he often seemed over his head. His recklessness was not of the same quality as Kirks. He seemed to surround himself with personal friends, and would likely fall prey to the yes-man. As his experience grew, he may turn out to be a good captain. Time will tell.
He would likely do well with the whole trust and respect thing, but his lack of personal discipline and experience would hold him back.
And one quote to wrap this up:
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virture of the priesthood, only be persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile…(D&C 121)
The above qualities rarely get mentioned in leadership books or seminars. And I am afraid that those who have those qualities will rarely get noticed and receive opportunities for leadership.
Anyway, which of the Star Trek captains do you feel would make the best bishop? Which would best fit the model of D&C 121?