Skip to content

Darth Vader’s Darkside School: A Series of Misguided Modules

As a bit of fun, we have built on our previous posts Defining High-Performance Teams and 13 Myths About High-Performance Teams & How to Build Them in the high-performance teams series, to explore how Darth Vader teaches leadership.

Welcome, Rebel scum and esteemed galactic miscreants. Darth Vader here, opening the hallowed halls of my esteemed Darkside School. Through a rigorous set of modules, you too can master the art of woefully misguided management, and learn how to build a high-performance team… the dark side way. Let’s explore the modules:

Module 1: Muddled Communication

Forget open and transparent communication. Who has time for that? Instead, make sure your messages are as indecipherable as an Ewok's picnic chatter. Remember, the key to successfully confusing your team is to maintain an air of mystery and uncertainty. That way you are in control and the one person everyone has to come to all the time!

Module 2: Leadership & Culture

Shared leadership? Respect? How quaint. Remember, ruling with an iron fist (or gauntlet) is the way to go. Instil fear in your team - it's much more effective than trust or integrity. And if all else fails, a demonstration of your Force Choke technique should keep them in line. Remember, fear is the best motivator!

Module 3: Role Confusion & Organisational Chaos

Clear roles and an organised structure? Please, that's for Jedi! Instead, ensure no one really knows what their job is or who they report to. Or even better, simply change the roles and structure and don’t tell anyone you have done it. The ensuing chaos is simply delightful to watch and perfect for crushing any inklings of camaraderie.

Module 4: Ignoring Skill & Competence Development

Why bother with growth mindset and self-development when mediocrity can be so much more fun? Remember, praising your team for their skills is the first step towards them believing they don't need you. Better they remain entirely dependent on your infinite wisdom.

Module 5: Goal Setting & Evaluation: What's That?

Goals, shmols. Targets are for X-wing pilots. Why motivate your team towards a shared goal when you can keep them perpetually off balance? As for performance metrics, if they're still breathing, they're performing adequately.

Module 6: Providing Substandard Tools & Resources

Nothing quite demotivates a team like outdated tools and inadequate resources. Remember, a slow computer and a broken coffee machine could be all the deterrents you need to keep those pesky employees from getting too comfortable. After all, taking the hard job is your job!

Module 7: Discouraging Diversity & Inclusivity

Nothing says high performance like a bunch of brainwashed white guys marching in the same direction. Promote from within the ranks of the Stormtroopers. Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and misses the target just as frequently. It's harmonious, in a sort of beautifully monotonous way.

Module 8: Resisting Adaptability & Resilience

Change management? More like change stranglement. Why encourage adaptation when you can bask in the glory of the good old days? Resilience is overrated when you can rule by fear and intimidation.

Module 9: Recognise & Support Innovation? Nah.

Why recognise achievement when you can take the credit yourself? As for innovation, why fix what isn't broken, right? Even if it is a little bit broken, just ignore it. After all, if you wait long enough, it will go away.

Join me in this educational endeavour, where you'll learn all the ways NOT to foster a high-performance team. It's a masterclass in malarkey, a spectacle of substandard leadership. Remember, when it comes to management, do or do not... Or you could explore some other ideas in The Leader's Playbook: Building High-Performance Teams.
Trevor O'Sullivan

Trevor O'Sullivan

General Manager. Since the early 2000s, Trevor has worked with thousands of Talent Management professionals to develop and apply assessment-based talent management solutions for selecting, developing and managing people. Trevor is an active member of the TTI Success Insights (TTISI) Global Advisory Council, contributes to TTISI product development and is a regular presenter at TTISI-R3. He is honoured to have received multiple Blue Diamond Awards and, more recently, the Bill Brooks Impact Award recognising his contributions to the TTISI global network.

We Would Like to Hear From You (0 Comments)

Newsletter Sign-Up

Designed For You

Going out every 3 weeks, the Science of Self™ newsletter brings interesting, fresh and topical content to professionals in Talent Management, Human Resources, Learning & Development, People & Culture, Organisational Development, General Management and Consulting.

Welcome to Science of Self™

Our knowledge centre holds over 400 articles shared through the Science of Self™ newsletter. The topics are relevant to the fields of talent management, human resources, organisational development and business growth.

As the title suggests, we take an evidence-based approach to sharing content about people in the context of work. If you like what you see, consider signing up below!

Knowledge Centre Home

    The Future of Work

    Looking for a practical guide to help you rewire your business for the future of work?

    Read More