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  • Tom Deaderick

SCI-FI Management Lessons: Ender's Game

There are so many great lessons in management in the science fiction book, "Ender's Game" that copies of it should be placed alongside Michael Lencioni's books in the Management section.

Here's one of my favorites

In the book, very young children are being trained to remotely lead the battle of Earth's space fleet in an attack on a planet of aliens that threatened to destroy Earth decades before. The fleet is managed through an instantaneous wireless network called the "Ansible".

The children selected for this training are all above genius level.

The children are separated into teams and the teams compete in war games, as the instructors watch and manipulate the games to challenge the best of the children. The protagonist, "Ender", breaks from the traditional top-down management system when it becomes impossible for even the genius level child-leaders to keep everything in scope.

Instead, he communicates broad objectives, and gives the leaders under him autonomy to collaborate in any way they come up with during the battle games to achieve the objectives.

Ender's team dominates the training ratings because no single leader can compete with the agility and evolving strategies of the many talented minds below him with Ender moving from team to team, helping and adjusting and coordinating where needed.

This is just one of the many great lessons in leadership in the book.

Whatever you do, never watch the movie. It is terrible and all it will do is ruin the ending of the book.

SEP 2, 2022


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