“You are beaten. It is useless to resist.”
Man, Darth Vader was a bad dude. I remember sitting in the movie theater back in 1980, watching the Empire Strikes Back for the 15th time, and still getting riled up as this classic villan was standing over young Luke Skywalker, trying to turn him to the “Dark Side”.
In fact, to this day, Vader’s theme music, that “da-da-da, da-ta-da, da-ta-da“, still runs in my head when there is trouble ahead, or a nemisis to overcome.
I can also tell you that it ran in my head more than a few times during my leadership career – and I was really glad for it.
I was happy to have a nemisis.
I needed a nemisis.
They were catalysts for me, and I wouldn’t have been as succesful without them.
Now, I have to admit, I wasn’t thinking about it that way when I was battling my own Darth Vaders.
Actually, I was pretty steamed.
For example, several years back we had a person in our company that was against, or fighting against, anything we were trying to do to stick to our philosophy of more human leadership.
He would try to upset the apple cart in any way possible. We were too “touchy feely”. We didn’t know what we were doing. We weren’t managing by fear and threats of mass firings.
And he would throw arrows at us every chance he got, especially in front of my bosses.
Yep, he was Darth. (“da-da-da, da-ta-da, da-ta-da“) The dark side of leadership, to me.
The anger my Darth stirred in me was palpable, and stress inducing, but I’ll tell you what.
It pushed me really, really hard to persevere, and “win” the battle. To get a team to success based on caring, more human leadership, and a culture of accountabilty.
My team would see this determination and passion, and my public defense of our philosophy (and them), and it would inspire them too.
It bound us closer together, against a common enemy, our Darth (“da-da-da, da-ta-da, da-ta-da“).
And we DID end up winning our battle, and achieved our goals, with the help of our additional fuel.
So yes, we all need a Darth Vader, but I will add one more thing.
Just don’t let that anger get too far away from you – direct it in the right place: Towards your goal.
Stay cool, but relentlessly determined. Focused. Driven.
Filter your messages before you deliver them, lest your anger turn to petty bitterness.
Find trusted friends and collegues to let off the steam, in private.
And then, drive forward, relentlessly.
Past Darth, (“da-da-da, da-ta-da, da-ta-da“), the dark side, and all other obstacles in your way.