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10 Leadership Lessons We Can All Learn From You-Know-Who (Lord Voldemort)

10 Leadership Lessons We Can All Learn From You-Know-Who (Lord Voldemort)

Okay, this might be a little controversial, so point your wand away from my heart and just listen for a second.

There’s a little bit of credit we’ve gotta give You-Know-Who.

Despite his deep passion for radical eugenics and world domination, Voldemort was an excellent leader. He banded many witches and wizards together to follow a pretty disgusting cause that would serve nobody but himself. And that’s pretty impressive.

Hear me out, my magical friends.

***Disclaimer: This article is in no way promoting hateful acts towards Muggles, Dark Magic (including, but not limited to, the use of any of the Unforgivable Curses), or general acts of terrorism on the wizarding world.***

1. He never gave up.

You-Know-Who was probably the most persistent dude ever. He didn’t let a little roadblock (like almost dying and then losing his physical body, rendering him a mere spirit-esque thing forced to live underneath a neurotic professor’s turban) get in his way of trying to dominate the world.

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2. He always had a back-up plan.

Somebody tried to kill him? No worries, he’s got a Horcrux. Somebody destroyed that Horcrux? No worries, he’s got five more (plus another accidental one – sucks for you, Harry!).

Voldy expected that there would be obstacles – and that’s why he always had a back-up plan. Don’t split your soul into seven pieces or anything, but definitely consider what could be the metaphorical Harry Potter in your plan and start creating those metaphorical Horcruxes.

3. He utilized a team.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knew very well that he needed a team. After all, one Dark Lord can’t abolish all Muggle-borns on his own, you know?

If you have a big dream, you’re going to need a dream team. Get yourself some Death Eaters of your own – that is, some like-minded people who are as passionate about your dream as you are. Except maybe treat them a little better than he does. Give them some encouragement and don’t threaten to kill their families or anything.

Though in Voldemort’s defense, he did enjoy giving the occasional awkward hug to show his affections.

awkard hug
    *cringe*
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    4. He delegated.

    Some people develop a team, but then insist on doing everything themselves. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knew that in order to maintain his fearful status, he needs to delegate tasks to other members of the team. After all, that’s what a team is for.

    However, having a few tasks in particular that you keep close to your heart is totally normal.

    kill harry potter

      5. He was an excellent planner.

      Voldemort was an impressive planner. That whole Triwizard Tournament thing? Wowza. (Miss you, Cedric. Always.)

      After all, if Voldemort just waltzed into Hogwarts (never mind the fact that he technically couldn’t have, not having a body and all), he would not have become the grand death-defying dude he did.

      In order to be a good leader, you need to meet with your team and strategize. Come up with a good plan, months, even years ahead, and make it known that you are fierce and have got all your wits about you.

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      6. He dreamed big.

      Whenever you’re trying to lead your team to victory, and you start to feel like your end goal is impossible, just remember that you’re not aiming to rid the human race of all Muggle blood while ruling the world under your fierce, unwavering tyranny. Your goal will start to feel a whole lot more attainable.

      7. He had conviction…and a lot of it.

      “It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”

      We all know that Remus Lupin was the one to say that (and he was directly talking about You-Know-Who himself), but let’s be real here: if Voldemort wasn’t full of conviction, I don’t know who is. Even Dumbledore had a lot of self-doubt hidden under that beautiful white beard of his. Voldemort, on the other hand, believed every word he said – and his conviction certainly convinced quite a few folks.

      As a leader, you have to believe in what you say. You have to truly know you’re capable, with all of your dark, decrepit heart.

      8. He presented himself well.

      Voldemort was a pretty great public speaker. He possessed quite a bit of charisma, which he was well known for as a youth at Hogwarts. It was that charisma that helped him to gather such a loyal following of evil, terrible, mostly-Slytherin minions.

      Conviction goes hand in hand with good presentation. To be a good leader, you’ve got to look and act the part. And when I say “look,” I don’t at all mean you need to adhere to any ridiculous body standards. After all, if you have a nose, you already one-upped The Dark Lord. Congratulations.

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      laugh

        9. He had his own style.

        Voldemort had his own personal brand that never wavered. It generally had to do with dark colors and skulls and snakes; not exactly my thing, but hey, it worked for him (well, up to a point), and it kept his team unified. I don’t think the Death Eaters would have continued to support him so strongly if he suddenly exchanged their hooded cloaks with fedoras and plaid flannel shirts.

        Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Find out your own leadership style, and own it.

        10. He was creative.

        Tom Marvolo Riddle. I Am Lord Voldemort. Creativity at its creepiest.

        Let’s also not forget the interesting ways he managed to survive multiple times, i.e. unicorn blood and turbans.

        To be a successful leader, you have to think outside the cupboard under the stairs. Obstacles will come, and it may not seem like there is a way around them, but there will be a solution, sure as Dumbledore’s love for socks.

        socks

          Featured photo credit: luciana_ufrj via flickr.com

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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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