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Darth Vader’s “Management” Secrets

Darth Vader’s “Management” Secrets

Darth Vader's Management Secrets
    Today we offer you a special treat by a very special guest contributor. Darth Vader is a modern-day success story, having risen from humble orphan roots to the second-highest position in the largest corporate body this galaxy has ever seen. Although better-known for his visionary work in the realm of law enforcement, he is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of many of his organization’s most crucial assets. Here, he shares with us some of the lessons he’s picked up along the way as he rose to Galactic prominence. Join us as we welcome Lord Darth Vader to our humble website.

    Also, feel free to leave any positive responses in our comment section. Negative views are also welcome, of course, and will be individually… responded to.

    Operating a truly effective organization can be daunting. It requires skill, dedication, a willingness and ability to rebound from failure, bloodlust, and a notable absence of mercy. Mastery of the Dark Side of the Force is also useful. You’re probably asking “how did the empire become The Galactic Empire?”

    This article gives you a few of my favorite management secrets, some of which I have passed on to my brother, Chad, who manages the Day Shift at Empire Market. In the spirit of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, here are what we might call “Nine Habits of Highly Sith-cessful People.”

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    1. Use Fear. Yoda once said that “fear is the path to the Dark Side.” He couldn’t have been more right; however, his conclusions were wildly off base. Fear can be a great motivator, both for you and for those around you. Fear can help you overcome moral ambiguities by clouding them with the need for action, now.  Also, fear is the way to motivate people.  You may find their lack of faith disturbing, so you may need to demonstrate your superiority. If someone disagrees with you, Force-choke them until they see things your way.
    2. Don’t Tolerate Dissent. Destroy it. Make sure everyone knows that your word is the last word. Demand unwavering faith in your abilities from your inferiors, and if they display a disturbing lack of faith, choke them.
    3. Punish Incompetence. Many of your subordinates will be as clumsy as they are stupid. If someone has failed you for the last time, Force-choke them to death and promote someone who knows what they are doing. Keep Force-choking people until someone finally learns his or her lesson.
    4. Deal Exclusively On Your Terms. Periodically, you will have to make deals. Alter them at your discretion, and don’t worry about any consequences. I recently had to do this with a mining entrepreneur in the Cloud City of Bespin, who expected to be treated with equanimity. Needless to say, I got what I wanted.
    5. Use Loyalty Judiciously. Only submit to a stronger hand, and then try to destroy it once you are powerful enough. Stop at nothing to get to the top.
    6. Always Look for Talent. Periodically, you will come across a real gem like my wayward son, Luke. Realize that they can be your key to double-crossing your superiors. If they don’t play along, kill them.
    7. Know that Power is what matters. Your ability to assert yourself in a difficult situation depends on your power. If you have power, you can have anything you want. Stop at nothing to get it.

    8. Get Out There and Lead. While Grand Moff Tarkin was prematurely celebrating victory over the Rebel Alliance, I was out there shooting at X-wings. Which one of us survived the Death Star attack? That’s right, me.
    9. Finally, always remember that an elaborate, far-reaching plan, which relies on people reacting exactly how you plan for them to react, is always better than a simple plan. Nothing illustrates your genius quite like a meticulous, detailed, super-plan which will go horribly awry if people don’t react exactly the way you think they will.  Just know who to blame when things don’t go the way you expect them to.

    Those are a few brief pointers that I have used to make my climb, from defeated Jedi pulling his mangled corpse out of a volcano to Dark Lord of the Sith overseeing the construction of the ultimate power in the universe. With the right effort, you can, too.

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    Darth Vader is a Dark Lord of the Sith and second-in-command in the Galactic Empire, where he is the pupil of Emperor Palpatine. He studied the Jedi arts under Obi-Wan Kenobi and serves a Sith apprenticeship with Darth Sidious. Darth’s brother, Chad, is the Day-Shift Manager at Empire Market.  This article was co-authored with Mike Hammock.

     

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    More by this author

    Art Carden

    Art Carden is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Business at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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