Leonard Nimoy and the Warmth of Spock

Spock, as portrayed by the late Leonard Nimoy, has resonated through the generations because he married two things that we never get right:  Perfect logic, and heart.  

Today is a sad day in the hearts and minds of many fans of science fiction, and particularly fans of the Star Trek franchise.

Leonard Nimoy, whose portrayal of the iconic half-human half-Vulcan character Mr. Spock, has died.

I won’t dwell on the life of the man, because there are plenty of tributes out there doing that. Here’s a fitting one from the New York Times. I appreciate the art he both portrayed and brought to the screen.  Many forget that Nimoy was also a writer and director in the series of Star Trek movies.

What I will dwell on is this:  While the character Spock is a shoo-in for the hall of fame of science fiction characters; it’s not on the strength of a couple of prosthetic ears and tricked-out eyebrows, but rather on a stunning mix of logic and warmth he was able to bring to the screen.

This is a character smart enough to decipher the most cryptic stratagems, ranging from the evil of Kahn to the songs of whales.

This is a character so dispossessed of emotion as to have uttered such remarkably useful phrases as:

“Insufficient facts always invite danger.”

Ridiculously applicable to strategic thinking…


“Change is the essential process of all existence.”

Directly applicable to organizational thinking…


“I realise that command does have its fascination, even under circumstances such as these, but I neither enjoy the idea of command nor am I frightened of it. It simply exists, and I will do whatever logically needs to be done.”

Directly applicable to leadership thinking.

And, there are many more quotes like this.  Just Google “Spock quotes” today for a smattering of tributes.

But, the one that stands out; comes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn.  In that film, once Spock has made the ultimate sacrifice for his comrades and ship; he says to Captain Kirk:

“I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”

I believe there is one reason that Spock has so resonated throughout the years; and it isn’t his mind.

It is that he was a friend.

This quote is a good reminder that no matter how smart we are–how perfectly logical and coldly calculating we may be; we must connect with others to be truly effective.

Spock managed to do it.

Maybe as we push to a higher level of strategic and financial perfection, we should keep in mind that the people around us are what create resonance with our excellence.

Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy.

May we all “live long, and prosper.”

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