The Making of a Sith: 3 Things Corporate Chicks Can Learn From Darth Vader
We came to conquer didn’t we? You got this gig and now you have to navigate minefields. Quit ‘cher bitchin. Stop apologizing for being young or old or skinny or fat or short or tall, or worst, for being a female. You have within you the ability to lead nations and you only get to have in this world what you are willing to take. (Sith only deal in absolutes).
Oh yes, I said Sith. Whether you are new to the big bad corporate world right out of school, or you are changing careers, it’s always recommended that you find a mentor to help you navigate the new culture and responsibilities of your position. It’s a lot more difficult than it seems; only the best of the best have the skills necessary to propel careers but often they are just too busy to take on new protégées. Well, have no fear; reach out to one of your many open or closeted nerdy friends to let you download their digital copies of the six Star Wars movies to help you take your new office by storm. Yes, I said all six. You aren’t watching for plot development or cinematic brilliance- you’ll be studying your new mentor in action. All six films are about him; the last 3, which premiered first, are about what happened AD (After Darth Vader ran everything) and the prequels are BD (Before he took over). Grab a notebook, pen and plenty of popcorn, you little chickenshit and get ready…. Ask yourself, WWVD and let’s explore 3 things that Corporate Chicks can learn from Lord Vader…
Your Natural Talents are propellant
Vader’s character was a slave as a child, ( a SLAVE, girls) and young Anakin didn’t wake up and pout about it. He was good at working with his hands, great at flying, and even though the naysayers and masters didn’t think he’d amount to anything, his dedication to developing his natural talent lead him to the right place at the right time. There would be no Star Wars without a little dirty hardworking slave boy and his dream of seeing the stars…
You already know what gets you amped in the morning. You are already well aware of your strengths. Use them. People will tell you to work on your weaknesses, and you could do that, or you could use your strengths to propel you forward and hire someone to do whatever work you’re not gifted in; or at least learn to delegate it out. It’s a waste of time to spend your energy looking for a job that will give you lots of cash but isn’t fulfilling. The shit is also bad for your health. Who’s a bad ass? Know that you are.
Follow The Path of Your Passion (and knock down walls if you have to)
You’ve entered the jungle, with the job that feeds your soul but there are roadblocks, setbacks and sometimes, jerks for bosses and coworkers. Irrelevant. This is your movie and they are all background characters. Who cares what they think and feel about you? The fact that you are on their minds at all makes you the winner.
So decide, where is it that you want to go. Let your passion guide you, through different teams and different levels and learn who you can trust and who is worth knowing along the way. You may end up discovering additional talents and gifts during the process and generating a lot of support for your efforts from the people who count. But don’t get stuck following rules and regulations that are useless and not beneficial.
Never stop asking yourself, is there a better or more efficient way to get it done? Be the one who brings these kinds of solutions to the table. Rarely if ever to do hear Darth Vader complaining about why he couldn’t get something done, although you hear others doing it throughout all six films. And what happens to them when they fail him? They stop breathing. Be the person that no one wants to disappoint. I don’t recommend a literal force choke and murder probably won’t look good on your resume but think about it-having everyone love you in the office is cute but having everyone listen to you is better. Don’t let anyone tell you that how long you have been there has any bearing on how much you can contribute.
Get a seat on the Jedi Council whichever way works, merit or influence. There is no backward, only forward…your passion is calling. Now sure, to become Lord Vader he had to betray the Jedi order, lose his best friend and mentor, strangle his wife and kill a bunch of random kids, nothing nice about it. But mistakes are lessons, in life and in your work. You could get hurt, bruised and even bent out of shape. Do not let that happen to your reputation. Having Vader around was always a wild card choice but the dude was efficient as fuck. Had he not made every mistake that he made, there would be no Luke Skywalker, his son, who was foretold to be the balance brought to the force. Hey somebody has to crack the eggs open if were eating omelets. Better to be the egg cracker than the egg any day, wouldn’t you agree? Who can take nothing and turn it into an empire? You can.
Make Your Presence Felt
Having friends at work is fun, humans are social creatures after all but keep it professional. Let them share all of the lurid details of their lives but keep everything about the real you to yourself. Lord Vader only kicked with a small group of people and only took council from one or two- and sure, if you overlook the laundry list of crimes, the point of this part is being known by decision makers.
A little mystery goes a long way with underlings and it also prevents your authority on a subject from being usurped. Consider it your Vader Breathing Mask. The worst thing in the world is getting promoted over a coworker friend knowing full well they held your hair after you threw up Jager bombs over the weekend. Don’t hang out with them IRL or on social media.
Remember, they are merely background characters and we’ve got a passion seeking mission going on here. Be polite and cordial but go to work to get shit done. Keep track of everything, because weasels will always try and test you to see where you lie- cover your ass on everything, keep detailed records of conversations, file memos in the cloud etc. and if anyone needs you to account for your activity etc., show them that e-mail from January 13th when you followed up like you were asked to and make them eat it. Be trusted. Be diligent. But don’t get so close to your coworkers that you are unwilling to lay the hammer down on foul ups or insubordination of any kind. Stop smiling all of the fucking time like a bobble headed doll. Nobody respects that shit. Reward loyalty but show no mercy.
Who will continue on no matter what is thrown at them in life? You will. And for all your bruises who will still rise to the top? You. And no worries, whatever damage you cause for the right reasons, will leave a trail for others to follow ( the force needs balance by the way).
Whether you are a fan or not of the billion dollar movie franchise, there are tons of useful life hacks that you can learn from the Dark Side. No mentors have time for you? Fuck ‘em, Watch Vader make moves and copy them! Having been a diehard lady Sith for more than 3 decades now I’m confident that I wouldn’t have survived the cut throat, high stakes, corporate jungle without a little Darth Vader brewing steadily in my heart. (And rocking my Vader helmet necklace every day doesn’t hurt anything either!)
You have learned much young one, as Vader would say, so go out there and kick some ass- remember, Together we can rule the Galaxy!
Featured image by Juanky Pamies Alcubilla via Flickr.