Darth Vader is a ruthless leader who dresses in black, is part robot and is evil incarnate—but like many fictional characters there are a number of lessons we can learn from him.

For those who haven’t been binge watching Star Wars over the holiday break or been to see the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga – Rogue One, Darth Vader may not have been at the forefront of your mind but as a new year rolls around can we can look to this Sith Lord for advice?

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Here are a few tips from everybody’s favourite Sith Lord:

1. Honesty is always the best policy.

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The root of bad leadership is a lack of trust. People would rather be fed hard truth than think that their leader is unable to see the truth that really surrounds them, even when the situation is tough to digest.

When in doubt, be honest with yourself, your team and your wider staff. They will respect you more for it. Couple this with a vision forward and you have a winning combination.

2. Keep your word.

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When you make a promise to your team, your staff or members of the school community, they expect you to deliver—no matter what.

Though there is a fine balance in managing expectations, a promise is a promise. You are in a position where you are expected to deliver what is best for your class, team or school and you will be judged on your ability to keep your word and do what you have said you will do!

3. Be Clear and Concise.

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Ensure that your message is easy for others to understand and follow. You don’t need to micro-manage how the job gets done (distributive leadership is important) but you need your staff to understand what the end game is.

Shared visions or mission statements that everyone can be a part of (rather than just ‘buy into’) are crucial for this step.

4. Speak face to face.

Emails, memos  and staffroom messages are convenient, but in-person meetings cannot be overvalued.

By speaking face to face you foster more respect and strengthen what can grow to be lasting connections. You also get to emphasise what it is you really value. This helps your team value those things too. Actions like taking the time to speak face to face with someone helps produce better long-term results.

5. Gather others who will help carry the collective vision.

You can’t do everything yourself. You need a team around you who will not only support you but who will carry on the vision/mission when you are not there. Strategy is important but changing culture takes time and you need more than one person to do this. In Star Wars Episode 7, Kylo Ren vows to finish what Darth Vader started.

Take the time to nurture the team around you!

About The Author

Primary & Executive Teacher
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Founder #aussieED | Primary Teacher - 1:1 Educator | Google Certified Teacher | Speaker | Committed to turning Ed Theory into real classroom practice

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7 Responses

  1. Sophia Sear

    These were great tips to be a leader with a little twist on it from no otber than Darth Vader. Loved it! Leadership and team collaboration are key to the world of education!

    Reply
  2. Chris

    I appreciate the humor incorporated into this post! Surely if Darth Vader tells you to do something, you’d better listen! In all seriousness I agree with this list. Its very important to be clear and concise, as well as work with intellectuals that can comprehend the information you’re throwing out. If I can add to the list I’d say a leader also never leaves anyone behind. In our situation (education) we can’t let students fall behind; we need to make sure everyone is on the same page!

    Reply
  3. Jennifer

    Brett,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your sense of humor and your ability to link “real world” with Star Wars. Job well done!

    You were able to get your message across while being direct and to the point but also providing sense of humor. I took mental notes for my own blog!

    Thank you

    Reply
  4. Heather Gordon

    I love this post! It relates something we are all familiar with to teaching, and uses cool graphics to get the point across.
    The five leadership lessons are important things to keep in mind. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Hamza

    What an awesome way to fuse leadership and Star Wars. But one things does seem a bit difficult, especially in today’s era; #4. Meeting face to face isn’t the easiest thing today, sending an email is so much more sufficient.

    Reply
  6. Xena

    This was a very creative post that included a great sense of humor. It was very interesting to read and had really great tips. loved the Darth Vader GIFs and the 5 leadership tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  7. Selinette Robles

    This post was really enlightening how you related a movie to some real tips to keep as a leader. In any career these tips are important. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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