Lesson 063: Not afraid to promote those better than oneself
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 7/12 ('The Pegasus')


In a private discussion, Capt. Picard relates to Cmdr. Riker's old captain why he (Capt. Picard) chose Riker to be his Second in Command on board the Enterprise.

In his service aboard his former ship, Riker had apparently refused to let his former Captain beam down to a hazardous area during a crisis; in spite of risking court martial by disobeying direct orders, Riker knew he was right in doing his duty of first protecting the life of the Captain.

Capt. Picard said he wanted his Number One and Second in Command to be someone who would stand up to him (the Capt.) and be more concerned about the mission, the ship and the crew than how their actions might be reflected on their record.


When selecting members for a team for any assignment, and especially when promoting someone into a management position, it is imperative that personal ego does not interfere with the selection process. For it is usually the egos of those people with inferiority complexes, that motivates them to pass over talented individuals from selection, from fear of being overshadowed.

In actuality, by selecting individuals who are more talented, skillful or experienced than ourselves, we not only better ensure the success of the tasks at hand, but we also gain to improve ourselves by working with these people. By challenging us and complementing us, those better than us, only drive to aspire to greater heights and accomplishments.

In the tale of Robin Hood, Little John manages to knock Robin Hood off the log bridge in their hand to hand combat during their first encounter. Upon finding out that the man he had just dumped in the water was in fact the same man with whom he had come to join up, Little John realizes that Robin Hood will now probably no longer accept him. Instead Robin Hood shakes Little John's hand and says that he (Robin) admires any man that can better him and he welcomes such men into his band of merry men.

Strong, self-confident leaders, like Capt. Picard and Robin Hood, are never afraid to recognize individuals who excel in different areas beyond themselves, as long as the individuals are committed to the same causes as the leadership.

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