Yeah…when you combine the power of the force with old technology, this is what you get.
I came across this article on neatorama.com (I actually found it through Zite on my iPad, but it started on neatorama.com.) I thought it was too funny not to share – I guess leadership lessons can be found everywhere if you look for the right things.
I wonder, what things I have done, which have produced the wrong atmosphere in my organization…
Leadership Lessons from the Galactic Empire
Even a cursory examination of Palpatine’s tenure as Emperor reveals sloppy leadership and a lack of strategic thinking. Imagine what a few outside consultants in organizational transformation could have offered the Galactic Empire: growth, stability and order.
When Alex Knapp of Forbes watches Star Wars, he sees a huge, promising organization that was destroyed by poor leadership. Among other mistakes, Darth Vader and the Emperor brutally punished mistakes, thus destabilizing the work of middle managers. Do you remember when Vader Force-choked Admiral Ozzel for bringing the fleet out of lightspeed too close to Hoth? By doing so, Knapp argues, Vader only reinforced failure:
This swift, decisive punishment of failure is a huge error of management. First of all, mistakes are inevitable – especially in times where quick decisions are needed to be made on incomplete information. Rather than simply kill Admiral Ozzel, Vader should have attempted to direct him to a course of action that corrected his error. Instead, he threw the Imperial Fleet into organizational disarray as countless numbers of officers were suddenly thrust into new roles and responsibilities without the opportunity to learn them. This organizational chaos was undoubtedly key to the Rebels ability to escape in mass numbers, even as they flew perilously close to the Imperial Fleet.
Even beyond this one mistake, by adopting a management style of “failure leads to Force choking,” Vader developed an organizational culture that was destined to be weak. People would be afraid to offer feedback or suggestions, choosing instead to follow orders to the letter. This ensures that decisions are made at a very high level, and anyone under those levels will lack initiative or the ability to act on their local knowledge. What’s more, by punishing failure so harshly, the Empire provides an incentive for people within the organization to actually lead their superiors to failure. After all, the quickest way to promotion in the Empire is for your boss to make a mistake, so it’s in your own best interests to ensure that he does.
Key Takeaway: It’s essential to remember that failure is the engine of success. Mistakes are inevitable, but the key to making them is learning from them. It’s also vital to ensure that organizations are flexible, capable of quickly adapting to changing conditions and allowing for initiative and quick action at all levels, even if that leads to some mistakes.
In December I was blessed by Kidz Blitz in december with a free registration to the Children’s Pastors Conference (CPC) in Orlando. I almost didn’t go…it was a great blessing, but I have a lot to do and my portfolio at work isn’t getting any smaller. But after some thought and prayer I decided to go, I wanted to share with you the reasons why:
- I felt it was important to receive the blessing that was given.
- The networking opportunities of CPC. (Some of the best and brightest of Kidmin will be there)
- The learning opportunities of CPC. Leaders are constantly learning. Four years ago I did Infuse with Jim Wideman, then 18 months ago I enrolled in a Master’s Degree (3 months left!), CPC was a good opportunity to continue my education (Yes, I’ve been a CP for 16 years – but there’s always something to learn.)
- I like the missional goals of INCM and their newly defined Five Initiatives for Children’s Leaders: 1. Impart God’s truth to this generation, 2. Provide a safe and relevant environment, 3. Communicate with families, 4. Network with a community of leaders, 5. Pray for the international children’s ministry community
- I like and believe in Michael Chanley. Michael is the new director of INCM and I believe in the vision he has for the organization. More importantly, I believe in his heart and him as a person – so I want to support him.
- I want to see how #CPC12 is going to be different than years past. I have been to CPC 4 times before, the first time I went I was a junior in High School. CPC has a reputation of being for new Children’s Pastors. Looking at the keynote speakers and breakouts, I can see an effort to make things different.
I’m excited to go to CPC, I leave on Wednesday. I’ll be blogging about workshops and general sessions while I’m there. Keep an eye out for the #CPC12 hashtag on twitter. And if you’re going to CPC, I hope to see you there – it’s a safe bet you can find me hanging out at Jim Wideman’s Genius Bar.