There’s a valuable lesson in the various incarnations of Voltron. No I’m not talking that giant robots are cool (obvious), that Pidge is creepy when you have him get older (surprising), or that movie adaptions are chaotic and unpredictable (depressingly true). I’m talking about the basic core idea of Being Stronger By Coming Together.
That’s a lesson we usually brush off. Giant robots made from smaller robots, power of love, friendship is magic, fighting spirit of the team, what have you are all common ideas in anime, movies, etc. The idea of Being Stronger By Coming Together is so common we don’t even think about it, and thus don’t learn the lessons. It’s probably not helped by a culture with the delusion that we somehow magically succeed without the help of (even if unappreciated) others.
But it’s a damned valuable lesson. Plus illustrating it through the idea of cool robots coming together to make an even more kickass one is a real inspiring illustration that harmonizes with our half mechanical, half magical geek hearts.
We’re stronger when we come together. Specifically I’d like to focus on the Applied Geek aspect of that – in our careers and our lives.
Right now we want to achieve certain things. The ideal job, or any job. A new novel or at least a published short story. That degree. That new convention. There’s something we want to do because we’re Applied Geeks and we do stuff.
But we struggle. We can’t do it on our own. Or worse, sometimes we’re helping others and no one is helping us. That’s when it’s time to go Voltron.
It’s time to team up with people and get things done. Maybe for your goals, maybe for theirs, maybe for group goals. But when you can’t do it on your own -or preferably before you fall flat on your face – it’s time to combine your powers to get stuff done.
(I suppose I could use Captain Planet for a metaphor, but seriously? No.)
We’re geeks. We’re surrounded by talented and at times obsessed people. Right now that con team, that game group, that online art gang, is a giant source of talent and assistance where all members could benefit if they came together. Right now there’s a lot of mastermind groups just waiting to happen.
Someone just has to get them to do it. You probably see where that’s going.
Someone’s got to rally them together, perhaps for your own initiative, perhaps to help a member of a group. But if it’s not coming together, let us further beat the dead horse of the Voltron Metaphor and suggest “Someone’s got to form the head.”
(Also someone has to stop me from mixing metaphors, but they have to catch me first!)
If your group isn’t rallying their talents, then make an effort to get them to do so. Look, you may not be a leader, you may not want to be a leader. But someone has to at least start the effort and get it going, and that might as well be you. For that matter if you’re having tough times then it may be a great place to start since it can also save your career/sanity/whatever.
You don’t have to be the head forever. You may not even be the head for a day before some other more leadership-inclined person steps up to help.
It’s better than having all these talented people not coordinate, since you can be pretty sure that’s not going to accomplish anything.
Here’s a few ways to get started:
- Simply ask the group publicly for help on your subject in question. You may be surprised how quick they rally.
- If you notice the group has several people reaching for goals separately, band them together. See how they can help each other out – they may not have thought of it.
- If it seems a lot of people in your geek group need assistance – and can assist each other – start a message board, mailing list, what have you.
- Watch natural leaders and talent emerge and don’t be ashamed to take – or give up – power. Give things time to settle.
- Feel free to use this rather lame metaphor since it may work.
There’s no use not forming Geek Voltron, but there’s a hell of a lot to regret if you don’t try.
Also “Form Geek Voltron?” Great name for a panel or event at a convention. Just saying.
– Steve “Heliotrope Lion” Savage