Make The Call
It was going to be a tough day. He had decided to kill him.
Let’s be honest, it’s always a tough decision when you decide to kill someone, but George Lucas knew Kenobi’s death would help the story. However, there was one catch. Alec Guinness was by far Star Wars’ most famous actor and he had no idea his Ben Kenobi character was going to die. Complicating matters, Lucas did not deliver the news well.
Lucas told Guinness that he was considering killing off the Kenobi character.
Upon hearing the news, Guinness was in disbelief. Lucas continued, this time with a little more nerve and clarity, telling the esteemed actor that he envisioned the Kenobi character dying at the hands of Darth Vader. Guinness fumed. He stated that he wouldn’t do it and even threatened to quit the movie.
Undeterred, Lucas took Guinness to lunch. There he cast his full vision. He shared the importance of Kenobi, his death, and the legacy it would leave in the life of the movie’s hero, Luke Skywalker. As a result of the conversation, Guinness chose to stay with the project. He was able to buy into Lucas’ vision. Surprisingly at this point in time, Lucas did not see Kenobi ever appearing in another Star Wars movie. However, we all know that changed.
Here’s the lesson: leaders make hard decisions. Those decisions sometimes require hard conversations. If you only do what you feel is “nice”, perhaps in an attempt to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, you’ll never make progress.
Make the call. Have the conversation. Move forward. That’s leadership.
Brian Sanders serves as Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. He regularly writes and speaks on leadership topics.
His new book, “Leadership Endurance,” can be purchased HERE.