The “Battlestar Galactica” Guide to Business

October 11, 2012

By: Cathy
As a constant travel warrior, I have the immense pleasure of a lot of downtime in airports. Most of the time, I try to stay productive and work. Other times, when I'm just plain spent, I watch old episodes of my favorite sci-fi TV shows. This summer, I again watched the re-imagined “Battlestar Galactica,” which aired on the SyFy Channel from 2004 to 2008.
Image credit: SyFy
“Battlestar Galactica” (BSG) is the story of the human race and its war with the Cylons, robots that act, feel and look like humans. Cylons and humans were at peace until the Cylons destroyed the home of the human race, the planet Caprica, killing billions of people and forcing those who were left to escape into space with their small fleet and only an antiquated warship, the Battlestar Galactica, to protect them. The humans constantly face the threat of annihilation as they work to evade and fight the Cylons, and to find Earth, the birthplace of humanity.
BSG is one of the most popular and beloved shows ever created because of its strong focus on character development and its intricate and ever surprising storyline of love, loss, war, religion, politics, relationships and mythology, all set among the cosmos. One of the benefits of being both a business owner and a lover of all things sci-fi is that I learn so much from my favorite genre that I can apply to my day job.
Here are some of my favorite business lessons from “Battlestar Galactica”:
1 – Leaders do not exist in a vacuum. One of the phrases of business management and leadership that always leaves me cold is, “it's lonely at the top.” It's not really true. Great business leaders rely on advisors, team members and even contrarians to help them make decisions. Battlestar Galactica Admiral William Adama vets most of his plans with core staff and confidants. This act of confiding is what keeps the military, and the humans it protects, safe. Leaders who choose to isolate themselves often lose sight of their mission and values.
2 – Your team is everything. When you are faced with the threat of extinction, it's important to trust your team, and training them is key. In PR and in business, like on BSG, you must understand your craft and constantly strive to improve yourself and those around you. Never stop training and learning. And always, always commit as much time, energy and resources as possible into making your team strong.
3 – All of this has happened before and will happen again. This phrase is a tenet of the BSG series. In business, this holds true, as well. If we don't learn from our mistakes, we are destined to repeat them. Today, we can also learn from the mistakes of others, since our ability to access information, opinions and life lessons has never been more open to us than during this time. It's as easy as getting online to read and learn from some of business' best and brightest minds like CC Chapman, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan.
4 – When all hope seems lost, hope is all you have. When the Cylons destroyed their home, the crew of the BSG and the Colonial fleet clung to hope that Earth was more than a myth. Without this hope, the people of BSG would surely have lain down and given up. It's the same in business; there has to be a vision for people to follow. You may not always show your team each and every step in your plan, but you must demonstrate why you are asking people to do what they do. It is then that they will follow you and help you achieve your goals.
What are some of your favorite TV shows and what lessons have you learned from them?

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