“Rebellions are Built on Hope” ~ Jyn Erso, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Yes, I am a Star Wars fan. In fact, I’m old enough to have seen the first three movies in the theater when they were originally released. I love all the movies in the Star Wars franchise but Rogue One spoke to me as an entrepreneur and a leader.
If you haven’t seen it, the story features a character named Jyn Erso who leads a small team of rebels to capture plans which will help the Rebellion destroy a powerful new weapon the Empire has developed.
In one scene, the leaders of the Rebellion are meeting to decide on how to confront the Empire and their new weapon. Discouraged by fear and the overwhelming force of the Empire, the rebel leaders decide to disband and hide.
It’s at this point when Jyn and a small team of committed volunteers decide to do something about it. Against all odds, their tiny band of rebels takes on the Empire. Their heroic actions create a spark that ignites the rest of the Rebellion forces to join in the fight.
As a leader of a small company competing against large industry giants, I have been in those meetings where fear was present. It’s natural to look at the size and strength of your competitors and become discouraged. What gives me confidence in these situations is to remember other David and Goliath stories.
One that I recall the most is the story of Netflix and Blockbuster Video. Back in 2000, Blockbuster was the giant in the industry and Netflix was just a small start-up. I can imagine the small team at Netflix was easily discouraged when they considered the size and strength of their rival who had 60,000 employees and 8,000 stores.
“A leader is a dealer in hope.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
This is where hope comes in. Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the most brilliant military leaders in history stated that, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” This is especially important in a small business facing overwhelming odds. A leader must be the spark that ignites the rest of team.
As in the Rogue One story and the case of Blockbuster Video, large and powerful competitors always have a weakness. It’s the job of the leader to find that weakness and rally their team to exploit it. We should never underestimate what a small team of committed volunteers can do against overwhelming odds.
We each have the power to lead a rebellion in our industry. So, what are you doing to lead your rebellion? Have you found the weaknesses of your largest competitor? Are you rallying your team to exploit those weaknesses? Does your team look to the future with hope or are they discouraged by fear?
As a small business leader, we deal in hope. What hope are you providing today?