The Power of Emotion: A Lesson from Star Trek

The Power of EmotionWhat is it that made Mr. Spock one of the most beloved TV characters of all time?

It certainly wasn’t his logical side. If he were all-Vulcan, all the time, that would get old fast.

No, what made viewers love Mr. Spock was the occasional glimpse of humanity he showed us.

Now Spock was only half-human. I’d bet good money that anyone reading this is at least 100% human.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

So what’s the excuse? Why do so many leaders hold back?

To me, it comes down to fear. Fear of appearing vulnerable. Fear of losing control. Fear of going too far and being ridiculed.

But the occasional judicious use of emotion, whether it’s joy or indignation or something in between, conveys power, not weakness. It shows conviction. That you stand for something.

And that makes people want to follow you. In fact, I consider the occasional expression of emotion a duty of leadership.

Not to mention the fact that an emotional appeal often carries more persuasive power than pure logic.

Be Like Spock

Which brings us back to Mr. Spock. As fans know, “Amok Time” was one of the episodes that showcased the many layers of his personality.

It’s one of my favorite stories about the power of emotion, and you can check it out here in this short video:

And if my dramatic reenactment wasn’t enough for you, here’s a quick clip of that pivotal moment.

By the way, the funniest question I’ve ever been asked by an audience member was, “Can you name the weapon that Spock has in his hand in that photo?”

I had to look it up. For the record, it’s called a “lirpa.”