Leading like a Jedi – You Can Only Do

Control of the Force was difficult for Luke to understand. His mind couldn’t wrap around the idea that all he need do was will something to happen, and it would. Even to a point where the hand motions and closed-eye concentration would no longer be necessary. When Luke refocused to try to apply what Yoda had told him about lifting the X-Wing, he says, “I’ll try.” That is when Yoda delivers his famous lines.

Do or do not. There is no try.

– Yoda

We’re always trying, aren’t we? Trying our hardest, trying to get done, or trying to start. I’m currently trying to lose weight and get fit. The problem with trying is that it leads us down a false road of belief, one where we fool ourselves into believing our efforts are all that matter. The truth about trying is this; if you are trying, you are not succeeding. Trying implies a chance of failure. What Yoda was revealing to Luke, and ultimately everyone who saw the movie, was that we can not try. I’ll prove it. See that pencil or pen on your desk? Go try to pick it up. See, you didn’t try. You either picked it up, or you didn’t. The word trying is justification for failing.

That’s harsh, right? When we tell ourselves and others that we’re trying, what we’re really doing is failing while denying it. If you haven’t succeeded yet, you are either on the path (doing) or not (not doing). Those two concepts are measurable, and we can’t fool others by saying we’re on the path to success when we aren’t. However, it’s easy to fool someone by saying we’re trying. That, of course, leads to belief problems.

As leaders, we don’t get the luxury of fooling ourselves and others into thinking we’re doing when we aren’t. We can’t justify failure by saying we’re trying. We have to do. We have to be the ones to show others that things are possible, just like Yoda did when he eventually lifted the X-Wing from the swamp. We have to inspire others to do as well.

That’s it for this week. Let us know what you think of this lesson from Master Yoda in the comments below. Have an awesome Tuesday, and may the Force be with you!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.