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Old May 24th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #1
Sci-Fi
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WTF? Bad 'Star Wars' bosses

From the Sun Sentinel:

Bad 'Star Wars' bosses

By Maureen Ryan
Chicago Tribune staff reporter

Posted May 23, 2005, 2:49 PM EDT

I took a break from TV obssession this weekend to see "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith." And despite all the whizzing lightsabers, dazzling space battles and political drama, it was clear what "Star Wars 3" really is.

It's case study of bad management.

Why does Anakin Skywalker turn bad? It sure seems like it's because he didn't get a promotion. He really wanted that title, Jedi Master (and the company car would have been nice).

But, you say, maybe Anakin wasn't ready for that promotion. Maybe he was still too immature, too easily angered, too likely to furrow his brow at the slightest provocation.

So why didn't his managers give him a clearly defined path to promotion? Not a bunch of Jedi mumbo-jumbo about using the Force and examining his feelings, but a concrete list of job skills he needed to improve (Using time more wisely? Prioritizing better? Keeping the Jedi break room cleaner? Thinking up better dialogue?)

The worst Jedi manager had to be Mace Windu, who, when things got hairy, essentially told Anakin to just stay put, don't worry, and by the way, we don't need your help right now.

That's not the way help an employee feel empowered and invested in the task at hand.

And it was disastrous for Yoda to tell a troubled Anakin to give up that which was most important to him. That sounded suspicously like "Don't expect a raise any time soon."

Obi Wan Kenobi wasn't much better. A boss should know enough about an employee's life to know what they're worried about. Obi Wan didn't realize his apprentice was having a child (well, twins, actually) with Padme until it was too late. Those sorts of personal issues worried Anakin to the point of obsession, yet Obi Wan was mostly oblivious.

And sure, Palpatine appealed to Anakin's ego. But what smart boss doesn't, from time to time? It's not enough to tell an employee that he's the chosen one, yada yada. Obi Wan should have realized that the constant "you've got more to learn, young apprentice" stuff gets old after a while.

If Obi Wan and the council had chosen Anakin for a few crucial solo missions, maybe he would have been too focused on Jedi business to be tempted by Palpatine's Sith pitch.

Still, Anakin must bear the responsibility for his eventual decision to join the staff of Dark Side, Inc. He was seduced by a boss who promised much, but actually withheld vital information that would have affected Anakin's most important decisions.

Those kinds of bosses -- the ones to hold on to information and use it like a weapon, all in an effort to manipulate employees into doing their bidding -- are usually very articulate and seem like your buddy at first. They seem like they're looking out for you.

Then, one day, you're cut off at the knees. Dependent on them for everything. And have nowhere to turn, especially if your old bosses kind of want you dead.

So the lessons for bosses and employees everywhere? Give your employees a stake in the enterprise, and if they want to move up, use constructive feedback to tell them how they can do so. Motivate their best qualities by giving incentives for good behavior, but be willing to accept criticism when it's warranted.

And don't become the kind of boss who rules through fear, intimidation, secrecy and appeals to greed and arrogance.

Unless you're really good with a lightsaber.

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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
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Oh great, the business world of thinking is trying to infect a galaxy far far away too
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Old May 25th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #3
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I know what you mean Sci-Fi. i had a department manager that was just like you described. He tells me I was up for a promotion in the department and then gives it to one of his drinking buddies who did little to nothing in our department, then uses the lame excuse that I did not have enough training to get the promotion when I did more than the other guy. Then when a bunch of immigrants came in who acted like they could not speak Englihs but could in fact do so, my boss let them get away with alot and when the rest of us complained about it to him, he told us to just be quiet and deal with it.

The assistant manager of the department should have been the boss as he was way more easier to deal with and actually took the time to listen to your concerns, plus he didn't let the immigrants get away with murder, he gave them the worst jobs in the department and gave the rest of us the easier ones. I got to work by myself quite a bit when he was in charge as I was given the small jobs that could be done quickly.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 05:39 AM   #4
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This is really funny!
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Old May 25th, 2005, 01:02 PM   #5
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hearing somebody use office jargon on Star Wars makes my skin crawl. it's just not right. like when you hear your alarm clock on TV and you suddenly feel like you need to jump up and get ready to go to work.
*shiver*
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Old May 25th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #6
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They'd be lined up to put stuff like this into books if Lucas would let them

Men are from Tatooine, Women are from Naboo
The one minute Jedi
How to win friends and influence people: the Sith edition


Cheers,
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #7
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Exclamation Star Wars: Words Upspoken

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lara
They'd be lined up to put stuff like this into books if Lucas would let them

Men are from Tatooine, Women are from Naboo
The one minute Jedi
How to win friends and influence people: the Sith edition


Cheers,
Lara
Or maybe My Personal Fav Self-Help Book... Using The FORCE For Personal Gain (The Unabridged Dark Side Edition)

Luke: Ben, Why Did You Lie to Me? You Told Me Vader Killed My Father.

Obi-Wan: Luke, You'll Discover the Very Truths You Hold Dear Are Only True From a Certain Point Of View... (What Obi-Wan was Really Thinking: "Look Kid, its Not Like I Told Your Your Old Man Was a Pizza Driver for Dominoes")

LOOK KID, I'VE BEEN FROM ONE SIDE OF THIS GALAXY TO THE NEXT... AND NO ALL POWEFUL FORCE CONTROLS MY DESTINY... --Han Solo
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
The worst Jedi manager had to be Mace Windu, who, when things got hairy, essentially told Anakin to just stay put, don't worry, and by the way, we don't need your help right now.
I could not agree more with this. Windu seemed angry and vengeful when he was about to put Sidious out of his misery. I think that Sidious probably could have gotten Windu the same way he got Dooku.

Quote:
Obi Wan Kenobi wasn't much better. A boss should know enough about an employee's life to know what they're worried about. Obi Wan didn't realize his apprentice was having a child (well, twins, actually) with Padme until it was too late. Those sorts of personal issues worried Anakin to the point of obsession, yet Obi Wan was mostly oblivious.
I agree about the part with Padme. Obi Wan should have put 2 and 2 together a long time ago . . . even without the force. I think though that Obi Wan was re-assuring though. Kenobi told Anakin that he was rising faster than any other Jedi in history and with patience he would be a master soon enough. Kenobi also was sympathetic to Anakin's situation with the assignment to be Palpatines official representative. I think that since everyone was having trust issues with Anakin, Windu should have gone to kill Grievious and allowed Kenobi to stay with Anakin and help with his reassurance.

I think Windu was the bad management part of the equation and not Kenobi.

Ethan

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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haveke
Or maybe My Personal Fav Self-Help Book... Using The FORCE For Personal Gain (The Unabridged Dark Side Edition)

Luke: Ben, Why Did You Lie to Me? You Told Me Vader Killed My Father.

Obi-Wan: Luke, You'll Discover the Very Truths You Hold Dear Are Only True From a Certain Point Of View... (What Obi-Wan was Really Thinking: "Look Kid, its Not Like I Told Your Your Old Man Was a Pizza Driver for Dominoes")

LOOK KID, I'VE BEEN FROM ONE SIDE OF THIS GALAXY TO THE NEXT... AND NO ALL POWEFUL FORCE CONTROLS MY DESTINY... --Han Solo



See, if we could just get the rights to the characters, that easy million could be ours!!
Books, tapes, speaking engagements around the world..
But then Lucas' 90% mechandising deal would make it a hard slog.
Better to stick with paroday on the net for our own amusement.. no money, but lots of fun!!

Cheers,
Lara
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Old May 26th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #10
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LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lara


See, if we could just get the rights to the characters, that easy million could be ours!!
Books, tapes, speaking engagements around the world..
But then Lucas' 90% mechandising deal would make it a hard slog.
Better to stick with paroday on the net for our own amusement.. no money, but lots of fun!!

Cheers,
Lara
To Lara: Thank You for Sharing With Me a Smile & Laugh at My Star Wars Parody. I've Been Crackin' Jokes About Scenes from the Movies for Years Now... and Some Are Good, and Some are Soo BAD..... Here Is Another One Just For You:

Obi-Wan: You Can't Win Darth... If You Strike Me Down Now, I'll Become More Powereful Than You Can Imagine....

Darth Vader: Oh Really, I Can Imagine Quite alot...

The FORCE will be with You always...
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Old May 27th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #11
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I used to wish I had Jedi powers when I worked for the idiot department manager, I would have used them on him!
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