In your recent article of 13 February 2012, you detailed the Five Leadership Mistakes of the Galactic Empire. Whilst we could strongly question the sanity of a business news website willing to suggest that the people with the ability to kill you with Force lightning or telekinetic choking powers have made several errors in judgement, especially when those people own a gigantic planet-exploding laser, we have decided to refute your claims to keep us occupied whilst we’re charging up said laser en route to your planet.
Suggested “Mistake” #1: Building an organisation around particular people, rather than institutions.
Quote: “Perhaps the biggest mistake of the Galactic Empire made is its singular focus on the preservation of power for the Emperor and a few of his chosen lackeys.”
You are so completely right, Forbes. We sense the Forbes is strong with you. You’ve nailed it straight away. No organisation can be successful if it’s built around particular people. Just ask Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Oh wait, you can’t, because they can’t hear you over the tremendous amounts of money their companies are making for them. And none of them even have magic powers… That you’re allowed to know about.
Why wouldn’t you concentrate power in the hands of a few chosen people when those chosen people’s hands can shoot lightning from them, and/or are made of Mandalorian crushgaunts fitted around an indestructible Sith amulet?
Sure, the Emperor may not have too many advisors beyond Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin, but how much advice can people really offer you when you’ve almost singlehandedly taken over an entire galaxy? And anyway, what’s the alternative? A Galactic Senate? Not only did they fail to stop a whole series of space, or “Star” wars, if you will, they even elected Jar frigging Jar Binks to office! We’re confident that 14 out of 10 people would prefer to be ruled by an evil totalitarian space Hitler in a velure snuggy than Jar Jar.
Suggested “Mistake” #2: Depriving people of the chance to have a stake in the organisation.
Quote: “By consolidating his power, the Emperor didn’t just ensure that his organization wouldn’t survive his death. He also deprived a key motivation for both his employees and the public-at-large: a feeling of having a stake in the success of the organization.”
Do you know what’s a better motivation than feeling as though you have a stake in your organisation? Feeling as though you could be magically electrified to death by your incredibly scary boss if you don’t do your job. And you know what works even better than that, Forbes? Feeling as though your home planet, where you keep your family and all of your stuff, could be exploded at any given moment by your boss’s megalaser.
Look, chances are we’ve all worked for a scary boss before, one who is an utterly terrible person, who demeans you constantly or regularly finds issue with your work. And we’ll concede, Forbes, because we’re that sort of PR team, that confronted with this kind of evil boss, most people will undoubtedly lose the will to work and end up doing the bare minimum to get by.
But they key difference here, and we can’t stress to you enough just how key this key difference is, is that with YOUR evil boss, the worst they can do is fire you. OUR evil boss can fire your whole planet from existence. That sort of thing tends to stop people from coasting on the job in the Galactic Empire.
Suggested “Mistake” #3: Having no tolerance for failure.
Quote: “[B]y 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.”
Oh Forbes, it would be fantastic to live in your world of unicorns and rainbows and rainbow unicorns that eat laughter cupcakes and poop happiness. But we live in the real world, the one with giant spaceships and annoying talking robots and goblin Force-powered Jedi Masters, and in that real world we have a thing you might have heard of called, “People”.
And here’s the thing about “People”, Forbes: they suck. They are just genuinely terrible. For instance, most of these “People” we speak of would prefer to watch a fake reality show about a bunch of shore-dwelling excessively-spray tanned imbeciles getting drunk and partying than read a book or even watch some quality scripted drama like Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Fridays at 8:00pm PT/ET on Cartoon Network).
These aforementioned so-called “People” are not good at their job, Forbes. 99.8% of them are too busy using the internet to look up what those crazy shore-dwelling excessively-spray tanned idiots are up to next to think about their job for long enough to come up with an even halfway decent suggestion for how to improve it. They deserve to be Force choked and you know it.
They say we learn from our mistakes, but what’s better than that is learning from other people’s mistakes and nothing is going to make you do that faster than seeing somebody else’s mistakes lead them to being long-distance strangulated to death by a cybernetic evil sorceror.
If you allowed these “People” of yours to offer suggestions, dollars to donuts you are going to get ludicrous things back like: “Hawaiian Fridays!” or “Penne alla arrabbiata in the canteen on Tuesdays AND Thursdays!” or “If possible, could we have less Force choke-related deaths in the workplace?” See? Utterly ridiculous.
Suggested “Mistake” #4: Focusing all of the organisation’s efforts into a single goal and failing to consider alternatives.
Quote: “When it came to the success of the Galactic Empire, the Emperor had one single idea that he was absolutely obsessed with: building the Death Star.”
You are so right on this one, Forbes. You’ve always been an incredibly astute home page for the world’s business leaders. Focusing all of your organisations efforts into a single goal and failing to consider alternatives IS a terrible idea. Unless the single goal you’re focusing on is 873 KINDS OF TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME.
Did you know that just the steel alone required to build the first Death Star would cost 852 quadrillion Earth dollars? It had a gigantic hypermatter reactor, which possessed an output equal to several main-sequence stars, and could achieve faster-than-light travel using “linked banks of 123 hyperdrive field generators tied into a single navigational matrix”. Can you do that, Forbes? Didn’t think so. Not to mention the fact that “its faceted amplification crystal combined the destructive power of eight separate tributary beams into one single blast with the intensity of a stellar core”. How frigging cool is that?
As if you wouldn’t build yourself one of those bad boys yesterday if you could enslave a whole galaxy to do your bidding.
You’re thinking about it right now, aren’t you?
Suggested “Mistake” #5: Failing to learn from mistakes.
Quote: “After it was built, the Death Star only successfully completed one mission before it was destroyed by the Rebels. And the Empire’s response? Build a bigger, newer Death Star to serve as a target for the Rebel Alliance.”
You’ve lost us on this one, Forbes. How is building something almost FIVE TIMES bigger than the original failing to learn from your mistakes? You know what they say: “If at first you don’t succeed, build a bigger Death Star.”
Face it, the ability to destroy a planet is highly significant next to the power of the Forbes.
The PR Team
(On behalf of the benevolent Galactic Empire)
If you would like to read more of our devastating sternly worded letters of complaint go here for TIME Magazine‘s, beloved Hollywood actress Natalie Portman‘s, Neil Patrick Harris‘ or Google‘s.