Skills that Last a Lifetime – “WE”

If you watched the recent stand-alone Star Wars movie, Solo, you discovered the origin of Hans Solo’s iconic character and name. As Hans is escaping slavery on an Empire controlled planet, he decides to train to be a pilot at the Imperial Academy. As he is registering, he is asked for his family name. He states that he has no family so the clerk enters it as Solo. Ironically, throughout the remainder of the film and much of the Star Wars saga, we see Hans Solo as part of a team, including his companion, Chewbacca. His relationships are messy and complicated, but his greatest accomplishments happen with a team.

Relationships Matter

We are examining the Qi Skills proposed by Dr. Laura Jana.  She states that the “WE” Qi Skills “are a natural extension of the ‘ME’ Skills” (Jana, 2017). Simply put, even if your name is Solo, relationships matter. Our “ME” Skills need relationships to reach their full potential. In the book, The Start-Up of You, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha use a math analogy to emphasize this – IWE or I-to-the-We. Our potential is exponentially greater in cooperative relationships (Hoffman & Casnocha, 2012).

[For an introduction to Dr. Laura Jana’s Qi Skills, please visit the introductory blog in this series]

To illustrate this, Dr. Tim Elmore has highlighted four relationships that illustrate the “WE” Qi Skill found in Stars Wars (Elmore, 2015).

The Wise Guide

All of us need a Yoda. Yoda gives perspective to our “ME.” He speaks truth to us that is encouraging, yet often painful to hear. He helps us see how our “ME” fits into the “WE.”
Who are the Yodas in your life?

The Faithful Companion

Would you cross a vast desert and face Storm Troopers and Tusken Raiders to deliver a message to Obi-Wan Kenobi? R2-D2 would! Without R2-D2, Episode IV would have ended in a trash compactor. Watch the clip!
Think about those who have supported you on your journey. How have you supported others?

The Loyal Friend

In the movie, Solo, Chewbacca spares Hans Solo’s life and Hans helps Chewbacca escape captivity. Thus, begins an enduring friendship. “Chewie” has got Hans’ back and would certainly take a bullet, I mean laser, for him.
Who can you count on when life’s challenges overwhelm you? With whom would you stand in the face of a trial?

Someone to Guide

Dr. Elmore stretched me on this one. Many could have lived without this character in the series, however, I think I get it. Jar Jar Binks needed help! He was awkward and often said what he was thinking out loud which made the situation even worse. I have often told parents and students that if life depended on what I was like in the eighth grade, I would all be in great trouble. At that age, I was hard to love and hard to lead but full of potential.
Who in your life needs a guide as they grow and mature so they can reach their potential?


Jana, Elmore, Hoffman, and Casnocha have teamed up to demonstrate that the “WE” Qi Skills extend the impact of the “ME” Qi Skills. Another Wise Guide once said:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)


Elmore, T. (2015, December 15). Four Leadership Lessons from Star Wars. Retrieved May 2018, from Growing Leaders:

Hoffman, R., & Casnocha, B. (2012). The Start-Up of You. New York: Crown Publishing Group.

Jana, L. (2017). The toddler brain. Boston: Da Capo Press.