Kirk and Pike's command styles: your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Skipper, May 13, 2022 at 1:05 PM.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think we have seen enough material to compare the two captains and we could make same considerations. Obviously a lot is due to the era in which the two shows were written (in the 1960s there was a much more formal conception of hierarchies).

    Kirk has always been courteous and respectful toward subordinates, but it has always been clear that there was a barrier and he certainly wasn't looking for fraternization with lower-ranking officers. Pike seems to me much more informal and always ready to seek suggestions from everyone present. It seems a lot like the difference between a big 60's company and some new start-up all about agile work or something.

    Of course I'm not saying that one approach is better than the other (and I mean, driving a spaceship doesn't seem like making an app to me) but it's also interesting how the different era's corporate approach to authority influenced the writing of the series. .

    And I also imagine that in-universe it must have been quite odd for the Enterprise crew to go from "Pike's weekly BBQ" to a polite "Hello Lieutenant" muttered in the corridor by Kirk...:D
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022 at 1:15 PM
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  2. Airmandan

    Airmandan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I saw both these styles a lot in the military and once I got out. It is a distinct difference, and it comes with a lot of risks. By Pike being everyone's friends, and knowing all their stories and histories, he will take it a lot harder when people under him are killed. That makes the version we saw of him in the original pilot make more sense, he's so close to everyone that any loss will weigh on him heavily. I'm sure we will see that happen this season as well.

    With Kirk, he's friendly but a lot more aloof. The advantage with that is he won't be as emotionally compromised when people die. Given how many people we saw he lost under his command during the original series, that probably was a benefit for him.
     
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  3. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am from a different era (raised on TOS, Adam-12, Emergency, etc.) so I prefer the more barrier-ed?, formal command style. Pike is a bit flippant/jokey so far, which I know is The Way now. But as usual. . .

    YMMV and probably does.

    In issues of taste there can be no arguing.

    insert true, but cliché, phrase here [ ].
     
  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    When it comes to leadership it depends on the situation.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Garth of Algar Premium Member

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    Raised in the same era and watched the same shows. Totally cool with Pike's command style.
     
  6. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Saying that was my way of explaining it’s just an opinion, not The Way It Must Be.
     
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  7. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    We've seen Cage Pike and Disco-Pike, onward. I think Pike had to adopt a more informal tone with Discovery's crew just because of what they'd been through with Lorca. I don't think that was necessarily his default command method, but it grew on him. Not that he wasn't normally friendly with his crew, already. He has people over for his dinners, and so forth. But I wonder if he did not become more of a soft-touch captain Disocery onward. He also saw Discovery's bridge crew and others willingly go into permanent time exile just to support one of their own. It had to be moving. It wasn't just Borleth that changed him.
     
  8. Serveaux

    Serveaux Mediocre Old White Man Premium Member

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    The group dynamic has changed over the decades in Star Trek. In the 1960s, the military model of leadership and discipline was familiar to the majority of the adult population, thanks to several recent wars and general conscription in the United States. By the time TNG premiered, that was much less so. So the ways in which the characters interact aboard ship have changed to something more of a modern workplace model.

    Pike's the kind of guy you want for a boss in a high-pressure, dynamic environment. He trusts people, he's low-key, he leads by example, you're pretty sure he's got your back and you want to do your very damn best for him.
     
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  9. Skipper

    Skipper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    While I admit he'd be a dream boss at work, I wonder if this kind of approach would work in a military-like environment (yes yes I know Star Fleet isn't etc). It would be great on a deadline to deliver software, I don't know if it would be as effective as they shoot at you.

    I have no military experience, can someone who was in some military force contribute? :)
     
  10. Serveaux

    Serveaux Mediocre Old White Man Premium Member

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    Well, it works in Star Trek. They never really behave like they're in the military, anyway.
     
  11. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    Same. It's fine to be courteous, friendly, and warm to subordinates- but not 'buddy-buddy.' You're their boss, and familiarity breeds contempt. In the military, a politely phrased 'request' from a senior (in the line of duty) is actually an order, and fraternization is the easiest way to blur those lines and provoke back-talk.

    I've noticed this has become a problem in education as well. Back when I was in high school (stone age...er... the 80's) I didn't know the politics, voting habits, personal habits, or weekend plans of my teachers. They didn't talk about their personal lives, and if someone asked they were shut down politely but firmly. Even in the classes like civics and government. There was a wall there between teachers and students that, from what I observed when my kids were in high school, doesn't seem to exist anymore.
     
  12. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's funny, I was raised on the same shows, and even I have a more relaxed style of leadership and expectation of relationship. I don't expect to be buddies with my subordinates but I am aware of their personal struggles and how I can best support them completing their job.

    I've been a manager in two different organizations and it's an interesting mix of figuring out how to balance it. Even with my more strict managers above me there was still time for jokes.
     
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  13. Yistaan

    Yistaan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mendez: So Chris, another day with you here in the wheelchair and no one coming to visit you or even a subspace message asking how you are, despite years of captain's dinners, barbecues, and hikes. Are you surprised?

    Pike: Beep beep.

    Mendez: So you knew all along those ungrateful wretches would abandon you in your time of need and you still held barbecues and get togethers for them anyway?

    Pike: Beep.

    Mendez: :weep:
     
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  14. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    Back to the OP, most people would prefer Pike's leadership style, because life is easier when the boss is a soft touch. That works great when you have a team of people that never skates on their duties or tries to get away with shit. When you do, it falls flat on its face.

    With Kirk, you'd better have your shit in line or you'll get phasered right in the ass. In some ways, this is an easier guy to work for, because all temptation to 'step out of line' is removed.

    In general, it's far easier to come into a new environment as 'the hardass' and then back off over time, than it is to be a soft touch who is suddenly forced to harden up when standards fall by the wayside.

    Another method of leadership is the 'inverted pyramid', or 'subordinate leadership', where the boss considers his subordinates his 'customers' after a fashion, having their backs and giving them the support they need to succeed at their work. This works in some environments, but not all. It can be really effective when you have an admin-type overseeing a bunch of technical specialists or engineers.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022 at 9:31 PM
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would do the exact same thing.
     
  16. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    And actually if you go by many things Spock was doing and saying in the first season of TOS, in the end I don't think Spock cared for Pike's style of command; as Spock is often reminding Kirk that Kirk can't appear anything less than perfect and must always in control of himself in front of the crew; because if he does anything less, they lose confidence and he loses command.
     
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  17. IMC Headquarters

    IMC Headquarters Commodore Premium Member

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    I Like Pike!

    Kirk Makes Me Work!

    My thoughts.:)
     
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  18. Serveaux

    Serveaux Mediocre Old White Man Premium Member

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    Must have been the early Jurassic. I did high school in the Cenozoic (1969-1972) and none of that was true.
     
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  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Garth of Algar Premium Member

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    @Airmandan did so in Post #2
     
  20. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    That makes sense, given Spock's stoic nature and the incredibly high standards he places on himself.