Great leaders are often misunderstood. Most appear crazy until their true ability becomes evident. We learned this from Yoda when Luke first met the small green creature on Degobah. He was strange, spoke weird, and seemed weak as he hobbled along on his cane and begged Luke for the candy bar. Then, as Luke was about to give up his training, Yoda revealed his true ability and lifted the X-Wing from beneath the swamp’s surface.
Yoda: Help you I can. Yes, mmmm.
Luke: I don’t think so. I’m looking for a great warrior.
Yoda: Ohhh. Great warrior… Wars not make one great.
– Star Wars Episode V
When leaders begin their quest, many people will not understand what they are out to do. Their goals will seem crazy, their actions will seem illogical, and most people will try to crush their ambition. However, one small victory after another will allow others to see the leader’s true ability. As a result, people will begin to have faith in the cause and follow gladly. They will support the leader and assist their endeavors. All of the sudden, that lone leader has spearheaded a movement.
Those initial days, weeks, months, and years are critical. It’s easy to give up on your dreams as a result of the doubt created by working alone. Questions flood our minds. Am I crazy? Is this all worth it? We aren’t certain of our sanity because everyone else is convinced that we are crazy. It’s in this phase that we need to stay focused and inspired, the same way that Yoda taught Luke to focus in order to effectively use the force.
The most remarkable thing about leadership once it has reached its full potential is that it will appear to be an overnight success. However, it was all the time spent working alone that built the success, back when most called you crazy. Nobody but you will remember all of the self doubt and how much you wanted to quit. Han and Leia had no idea of all the training that Luke endured once he returned to fight along side them, now equipped with the force and a lightsaber.
Yoda teaches us to continue on and focus on the goal, despite the idea that others may misunderstand us. It is how we grow. It is how we become stronger. It is how we ultimately succeed. Focus, grow, and may the force be with you.
Let us know what you think of this Jedi lesson in the comments, and have an amazing Tuesday!