When you boil it down to its most basic components, it becomes obvious what the Star Wars saga is really about: the importance of recruiting.

Think about it. Emperor Palpatine was probably the greatest recruiter of his time. He understood that if he could convince the number one talent in the galaxy to join his side, hundreds of others would follow, and his organization – the Sith – would gain the largest market share in his industry, i.e. rule the Galactic Empire.

And he did. He recruited Anakin Skywalker to the dark side and had such a strong culture that Anakin actually changed his name to the far-cooler Darth Vader to show his allegiance to the organization (talk about employee engagement). With Vader in place, millions of others followed suit, giving him an army of storm troopers patrolling each planet under his control.

Palpatine made recruiting his number-one priority – and it worked. But then he made a mistake CEOs make time and time again: he delegated recruiting, taking his eye off of it for just a second, and it wound up costing him his life.

Common Mistake

Rather than trying to recruit Luke Skywalker, aka the Bieber of his time, to the dark side himself, he sent his Vader – Luke’s father – to do it. He made a common mistake: he thought that just because Vader was a great talent, he would make for a great recruiter.

But he was wrong. Dead wrong.

Vader proved himself a much less successful recruiter than Palpatine. At the end, Palpatine tried to take matters into his own hands (quite literally, by shooting bursts of lightning out of them, a desperate recruiting tactic if there ever was one), but at that time it was too late. Luke was not convinced to join the dark side and actually convinced Vader to leave it as well, and Palpatine was (spoiler alert) thrown down a shaft in his massive Death Star, dying upon impact.

Lesson for all businesses out there: success in anything is about getting the right people. And if you take your eye off of that goal for even a second, you’ll end up plunging to your death in your own $787 trillion (all numbers approximate) spaceship.

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Comment by Keith Halperin on June 27, 2014 at 9:31pm

Thanks, Paul. Did you write this about 30 years ago and decide to publish it now?

You might enjoy this if you haven't seen it before (I'm so uncool I looked it up w. Bing):


Keep Blogging,



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