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The Darth Vader problem

The Darth Vader problem

From time to time you will find yourself with what I call a ‘Darth Vader’ in your business. I’ve had a few of these along the way and, just so I am being honest, I didn’t deal with them and it cost me very dearly. So I urge you to have the guts and the courage to deal with your ‘Vaders’.

So what is a Darth Vader? Well, let me tell you a story…

I am in the boardroom with the top team and we are chatting and laughing prior to our monthly board meeting. Energy is high, mood is great and I am thinking this is going to be a really productive meeting.

We are waiting for… yes, you guessed it! Darth Vader. He’s always late.

In walks Darth Vader, face like thunder and suddenly the energy level and mood goes from great and positive to… Nothing.
It’s like someone just burst the balloon and all the air just expired - and now everything is flat.

This is a Darth Vader!

We start discussing the business and we get into some recovery and then growth strategies.

The team is engaged, energy is moving up again and there are a few good ideas flying around. I ask Darth what his view is (he is playing on his phone).

“Well I can’t do that and I won’t be doing this and I have problems with this and that and all these ideas are lovely but they aint gonna work”.

Boom! Thanks Darth – you did it again!

This is a Darth Vader, at a high level in your business. My Darth Vader was a shareholder and the head of a critical component of the business. He was ‘in situ’ before I arrived.

He would never share or develop his people and he flat refused to get involved in any team or personal development.

I never had the courage to deal with him (although we had many arguments) and this cost me and the business very dearly. If I could go back, Iwould do anything to get him out of the business – anything!
And whatever the costs would have been they would been tiny compared to the ultimate cost of me not dealing with Darth Vader.

If you have a Darth Vader in your team get rid of them! Period.

And if you have a Darth Vader at lower levels in your business trust me, they can be almost as damaging. They will ‘neg out’ everyone around them and poison as much of the team as they can.

The crazy thing is, they are typically extremely talented and resourceful people who would be real assets if they used their potential for positive, rather than negative outcomes.

If you cannot get them to change (and it is unlikely), then get them out, real fast!

They will poison your team, and the more established they become, the more dangerous they will be.

Please, please, please!!!!

If you have Darth Vaders… then the empire must strike back and get them out!

You have been warned Skywalker.

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