Key Lesson: Perseverance — and standing firm in the face of opposition — is a key element of great leadership.
George Lucas made his name creating the Star Wars movie franchise, but lately he’s been accused of creating an entirely different kind of conflict: class warfare. When the expansion of LucasFilm studios was thwarted by his wealthy Marin County neighbors in 2012, Lucas started making plans to build affordable housing on his vacant land. That didn’t sit well with everyone in his community, either. “It’s inciting class warfare,” the leader of one community group told The New York Times at the time.
Efforts to finance the project were eventually derailed in the face of continued opposition, so Mr. Lucas decided to finance construction himself. He has countered his opponents by saying that he only wants “to do something good for Marin.” He points to the “real need” for affordable housing, adding that he wouldn’t squander time or money “just to try and upset the neighbors…if I’m not going to do what I wanted to do there, what can I do that would be really beneficial to this community.” We’re going to take Mr. Lucas at his word, and applaud his commitment to expanding access to affordable housing so that people with moderate incomes who work in Marin can also live there: “What we need is some houses for regular working people.”
George Lucas is our Grounded Leader of the Week for his steadfast commitment to building caring communities that meet the needs of all residents, and for standing firm in the face of opposition to that simple principle.