Lesson 061: Managing sudden loss of resources
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 5/13 ('The Masterpiece Society')


The leader of a genetically engineered alien world, who has always worked hard to serve the people of his society, sees failure in him self when many of the population decide to leave their home world.

The idea of leaving their home world does not arise from any dissatisfaction with their world or their leadership, but rather, with the arrival of the Enterprise and the attraction to visit other worlds and other civilizations.

The leader of the genetically engineered alien world must now contend with serious gaps in his society, as each member in the society is engineered to serve specific functions and the sudden departure of so many unique skills from the planet will surely disrupt, if not severely damage the existing society.


Leadership, no matter how facilitating and engaging, is always vulnerable to the prospects of sudden loss of resources. The loss may not be directly caused by the leadership or even by the current working environment.

People voluntarily leave organizations for a multitude of reasons beyond just dissatisfaction with their work or management. Health conditions, family needs, restlessness, continuing education and ambition, are but only a few reasons why people seek to change jobs.

When this happens, the leadership cannot be self-reproaching. Instead, the leadership must first quickly accept the situation of the departures, for it would be detrimental to all concerned to linger on attempting to retain the resources.

If by any chance, the departing resource can be 'bought off' to remain, then this only delays their inevitable departure and just serves to antagonize those who did not receive any rewards for not trying to leave.

Once the gap analysis is performed on the missing resources, the leadership can work towards realignment or addition of new resources.

True, there will be hardships endured by those who chose to remain in their picking up the initial slack in effort; however, once things return to a level of normalcy, these individuals should be quickly recognized and rewarded through various means including financial, promotions, increased responsibilities or even extra paid days off.

One of the attributes of good leadership is to accept harsh realities, no matter how painful they may be. Nothing is as painful or as jeopardizing as losing key resources. However, after an initial tilt, the leadership can bring the ship back on course, if acceptance of the situation is immediate and the contingency plans remain focused on the right goals.

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