Leadership is not a piece of cake. It is hard to lead and even harder when you are a female who has to prove her competence amidst male-predominance. When we talk about a female leader, Kathryn Janeway is one of the inspiring names to hit the minds instantly. Who was she? What’s so special about her? How can we learn from her? Scroll through to get your answers!
Kathryn Janeway must not be a new name for Star Trek fans. She was a Starfleet captain who was seen in the TV series, Star Trek: Voyager. She also had a cameo appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis as a Starfleet admiral in 2002. Being a human officer, Kathryn served Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. Although you can see a lot of female captains’ performances in the previous episodes of the season; however, only Kathryn showed up as a central character in the show out of all.
Kathryn Janeway also appeared in other media, like video games and books. The role was played by the talented Kate Mulgrew, which did justice to the character in true meaning!
Kathryn Janeway was born in 2336 on May 20 to Gretchen and Edward Janeway. Four years later, her sister Phoebe Janeway was born. She was very close to her parents (especially her father), and they used to call her ‘Goldenbird’ out of love.
Edward was a loving dad. Despite his busy routine; he would still spare some time for his daughter. Moreover, he developed Kathryn interest in science and mathematics since she was a little girl.
Kathryn enjoyed her first trip to Mars Colonies at the age of nine. Edward took her to Utopia Planitia from San Francisco on a shuttlecraft. This was the first ever adventure she did with her father, but it was just the beginning. Moreover, Kathryn hiked the Grand Canyon as a child with Edward as well.
Janeway entered Starfleet Academy at the age of 18 in 2353. She shared her room with Lettie Garrett and lived with Thrum and Pol as well, who were known as Thrum’Pol together. Kathryn mostly spent a lot of happy moments at the academy, except for the fact that she was bullied by Wendy Kerrigan often who happened to be a professor at the institute. Besides, Janeway was a prominent student of Admiral Hendricks.
In later years, she served as a Starfleet captain. Apart from managing her crew; she was also in charge of Maquis – a group of revolutionaries. Janeway knew that working together as a team can make her stronger and powerful, so she invited few local aliens and Maquis to join her for good.
At young age, Kathryn started attending The Meadows and became the captain of her tennis team at the school. Besides, she also loved swimming. In later years, she swam on Mars and saved Mark Hobbes Johnson from dying when he was trapped in the undercurrent.
Janeway dated Cheb Parker in the Academy. One night they sneaked into Magruder Mansion (Ohio) and saw an old woman living there. The couple was severely reprimanded for the event when they got back to the academy.
At the end, Janeway was engaged to Mark Johnson. Her Voyager stuck across the galaxy and Johnson was still on earth. She had no way to tell him that she is alive. Hence, Janeway chose to rely on her friends Tuvok and Chakotay who were security officer.
The list of Kathryn’s interest was long, but she mainly admired science, coffee and the Renaissance. Jane love for coffee was ultimate; she would order, ‘coffee, black’ to make it through the day even when the supplies are low. Janeway created a holodeck program with Leonardo da Vinci to act out stories, which shows her fondness for science.
Kathryn Janeway was stern or sweet, depending on the circumstances and situation. Her personality was full of contradictions. Often, she is ready to compromise for the sake of learning from other cultures, but she shows her stubborn side when it comes to her crew’s protection. While the majority of other Starfleet Captains believed in protocols; Janeway chose to loosen the rules on Voyager’s long mission home without compromising her principles.
Besides, Janeway was funny, friendly, warm and supportive as she always encouraged and took care of her crew like her own family. However, when the situation got tough, Jane got tougher.
What To Learn From Captain Kathryn Janeway’s Personality?
It is not an easy task to find positive examples of brave women who are in power and still don’t misuse it. Captain Janeway is literally an epitome of female leadership. If you don’t know this character, then you should definitely stop here and watch Star Trek: Voyager.
Here are a few ways that women (and men too) can learn from Captain Kathryn to become better leaders! Have a look for some serious inspiration.
1. Put Your People First
Like a true leader; Janeway always prioritized her crew’s needs over hers. She knew that the safety of the team was her responsibility, and she never failed to disappoint. In return, the crew was also loyal to Kathryn and admired her to the point that they would walk through fire for the captain.
2. Take Advices But Do What Suits You
Taking advice is a good idea but only when you are willing to filter what’s important and what’s rubbish rather than acting upon anything you are told. That’s a great thing you can learn from Janeway! She always listened to her guts. She did what she thought is best for her even if everyone around is telling her to stop. However, Jane was kind enough to take advice respectfully, including the one that are not convincing at all.
3. Working As a Team While Having Differences
When Voyageur was lost in Delta Quadrant; a group named Maquis was ‘inherited’, according to the Federation. In this scenario, Janeway chose to add a few of them in her crew after earning their trust and acknowledging their talents and skills.
4. How To React to Certain Situations
Janeway was a sensitive and kind person in nature. However, she knew how to be tough when required. Besides, she wouldn’t mind offering hugs to someone needy out of compassion. The key is to set boundaries and react to the situations as per the circumstances.
5. Accept Mistakes
Making mistakes is humane, it is a normal behavior. However, accepting that you are wrong is a daring and bold step. Just like any of us, Janeway also messed up at times, but like a true leader; she used to own it like a champ and resolved the issues rather blaming others.
6. Be The Mentor, Not The Hero
Being a mentor without making anyone feel guilty is an art and not everyone can master it except for the real leaders.
In an episode of Star Trek: voyager; B’Elanna was grateful to Kathryn for her support through a problem, but the captain told her that she just helped her a little and B’Elanna did the major part.
7. Be A True Example For Your Team
The best thing a leader can offer his/her team is ‘support’ and ‘motivation’. That happens when you think from their level of capabilities. It is not a good idea to ask the crew to do something that you would never practice. Besides, a leader should set an example for the team to motivate and support. Janeway always stepped forward for dangerous missions. She preferred to stay on the frontline than asking her people to do things while she remains behind.
8. Humor Is The Best Therapy
Stress is sure to affect you mentally, physically and emotionally, but humor can definitely rescue you from the situation for a while. Janeway believed that the best thing you can do sometimes is not to take a situation too seriously.
9. Kathryn Janeway – A Real Hero?
Kathryn Janeway appeared as an inspiring captain from one of the best Sci-fi movies of all the time, Star Trek. Her character was lively, humorous, inspiring, empowering and optimistic. She proved herself to be a great leader regardless of all the challenges she had to face throughout the career. Like a champ, she always prioritized her people as her own family.
Janeway character has a lot of superior characteristics that can teach you a lot in terms of leadership. What are your thoughts on it?