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  • Writer's pictureChuck Cusumano

May the 4th Be With You – How To Be a Mandalorian Leader

By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus

Last week was May 4th – May the fourth be with you!

It all stems from the Star Wars movies and the multiple mini-series spin-offs by Disney. If you are watching the series The Mandalorian, as we are, you may be interested in learning that it is packed full of leadership lessons that are extremely relevant to today’s issues. How so? Well, it is the way.

This simple yet powerful adage embodies the unwavering commitment and dedication that Mando (the main character) displays throughout the show. As we delve deeper into this phrase, we uncovered 5 leadership principles we believe can be applied to your leadership, guiding you to become an exceptional – and possibly even a Mandalorian – leader! (Although, of course, you would need to bathe in the living waters of Mandalor for that to really be the case!)

  1. Commitment to a Code: In The Mandalorian, the phrase "it is the way" refers to the strict adherence to the Mandalorian creed. This code guides the actions of its members, providing a clear set of values that must be followed. Similarly, as effective leaders, we should be committed to a set of guiding principles that dictate our actions and decisions. A clear set of values – not posted on a wall, but lived out through actions – fosters trust and effective communication within a team and serves as a moral compass in times of uncertainty. It is the way!

  2. Consistency in Actions. The Mandalorian’s steadfast adherence to the creed demonstrates the importance of consistency in leadership. By consistently upholding the values and principles we believe in, we can create an environment of trust and stability and build credibility over time. We must walk the talk, not just talk the talk! Leading by example is what a Mandalorian does. It is the way!

  3. Adaptability and Resilience. Although the Mandalorian is devoted to his creed, the show also depicts his willingness to adapt and change when necessary. In the face of adversity, he demonstrates resilience and flexibility, allowing him to overcome obstacles and grow as a character. As leaders, we can learn from this example by embracing adaptability as a key principle. In a world that is constantly changing, our ability to adapt and adjust our strategies is vital to achieving success. What got us here may not get us there. We must always be willing to challenge what we are doing. If it still works, stay with it; but if it is holding us back, jettison it out into space. It is the way!

  4. Selflessness and Servant Leadership. The Mandalorian’s devotion to his code leads him to prioritize the wellbeing of others, even when it puts his own life at risk. This selflessness embodies the principles of servant leadership, which emphasizes the importance of supporting and empowering those around us. By putting our team's needs first, as a servant leader should, we can foster a supportive environment that promotes growth, development, and success. We lead to serve others, not because we want to be served. It is the way!

  5. Embracing a sense of purpose. ‘It is the way’ also represents a deep sense of purpose that drives the Mandalorian’s action. This unyielding commitment to his creed and the goals he sets for himself serves as an unwavering source of motivation. As servant leaders, we can learn from this by embracing our own sense of purpose and using it to inspire our team. By sharing our vision and mission with our team, we can create a unified and motivated group of people working towards a common goal, forming the truest definition of a team. It is the way!

In a galaxy far, far away (or right here on Earth), you can live out the creed of the Mandalorians! It takes discipline, selflessness, adaptability, resiliency, consistency, and a commitment to serve, but if you are willing to bathe in these waters, then you too can be a Mandalorian leader! If you need help finding your way, or what is ‘the way,’ reach out to us at: May the 4th be with you!

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