Leadership Techniques in B7
By Leia Fee

I watched an interesting documentary not so long ago about leadership techniques.  Not specific tactics as such but the actual 'getting people to follow you'.  Got me thinking about how it might to the series.

The main points I picked out that they mentioned as useful traits were...

1) Willingness to innovate and try new ideas

2) Ability to inspire your followers (the importance of image)

3) Willingness to trust, rely on, and listen to your subordinates (especially when they tell you 'no--that's a bad idea).

They also talked a lot about the principle of 'mission command'.  The main points being...

a) The goal is more important than the method and improvising and adjusting your plans depending on the changing circumstances is important. 

b) If it all goes pear-shaped and you lose the guy in charge then someone else is capable of taking over, and if something happens to him then the next person takes over and so on.

Obviously a lot of that relates back to the general points - trusting the people under you to do their jobs right and be able to cope with rapid changes of plans if need be.


1) Willingness to innovate and try new ideas

Yes, reasonably so.  Although his tactics are generally of the 'try to blow up strategic points rather than have a big battle' type typical of a smaller force against a larger power,  he does go for things like attacking Central Control and looking for Star One--both thing which were supposed to be impossible.

2) Ability to inspire your followers

I don't know if they were exactly inspired but they do all stick with him despite their various objections so he must have been doing something right.  The Federation clearly thought he was a threat as a figurehead and when Avon admits he's looking for him that's the reason he gives.

3) Willingness to trust, rely on, and listen to your subordinates

I think  Blake prefers to be in there doing things himself but he doesn't interfere too much in the crew's particular expertise.

He repeatedly stresses that he trusts and relies on them all.  Even Avon who doesn't give the impression of  being all that trustworthy, and Vila who doesn't give the impression of  being all that reliable.

He's not great at accepting a 'no' though.  Even though he has people who will argue the merits of the various plans with him, point out all the flaws and dangers, he usually pushes ahead anway, and things quite frequently do go wrong as predicted.  On occasion he negotiates along the lines of 'all right - if it seems too dangerous we'll pull out'.

Mission Command

I think it's mostly stubbornness that makes him hang on when things all go wrong.  He's more likely to try and carry on with the original plan in spite of the problems than rethink it.



1) Willingness to innovate and try new ideas

He pretty much carries on with the same tactics Blake was using.  His negotiations in Warlord to try and get some sort of cooperation established between the various factions was probably the biggest diversion from that.

2) Ability to inspire your followers

I think people had more of a tendency to shut up and do what they were told from force of personality and a certain level of intimidation than anything else.  Interpersonal skills are not exactly Avon's strong point.

3) Willingness to trust, rely on, and listen to your subordinates

I think he does trust the crew, however reluctantly, at least until towards the end.  But trust isn't really something he's used to or particularly good at.

He's not really very good at being told 'no' either.  Which is ironic enough as he goes from being the one saying 'no that's stupidly risky' to the being one trying to defend his plans from the others telling him 'no that's too risky'

Mission Command

When he sends groups of the others to do something he does let them get on with it for the most part.  He's happy to leave Tarrant or even Vila in control of the ship when he's down on the various planets.

I can't put a finger on an example, but the impression I get is that he's more willing than Blake to adjust or drop a plan if it's going wrong.

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