Everything I Know About HR, I Learned From Darth Vader

Anyone who pretends to know anything about Star Wars knows that Darth Vader is the scariest, most powerful and most memorable villain in cinema history! Who else can make his enemies wet their pants at the mere sound of his breathing pattern? Who else can choke the crap of an underperforming employee from another room without physically laying a finger on the dude? Vader is awesome — but more than that, he is a very complex character.

Yes folks, you think you know Darth Vader but you have no idea.

He’s a man looking for love, people! If it’s one thing we’ve learned from the 2nd trilogy in the saga, it’s that everything Vader loved was taken from him — his mom, his lady, his kids and they even tried to withhold that promotion to Jedi-Knight (that really pissed him off). He had some serious work-life balance issues.

Here’s what you can learn from Darth Vader…


  1. Choke employees with your hands — or the force. Violence and murder don’t end well in this galaxy.
  2. Let the distractions of your home and personal life cloud your judgment at work. Just because you’re not happy doesn’t mean you should try to rule over the galaxy — or your employees.
  3. Manage your employees with fear and oppressive tactics. Your team will rebel against you and eventually get your legs and arms chopped off and put on a ventilator  (Seriously folks, all dictators die)



  1. Think strategically and move swiftly. Vader didn’t play around — if someone disobeyed a direct order, he terminated them. Now you should not TERMINATE, terminate them — but sometimes we tend to want to build solid cases before we let an employee go and it just gets to be ridiculous.  If you have an employee that doesn’t do what you need them to do … pull out your light saber.
  2. Be passionate about your cause. You’ve got it to give the man/machine, he believed in his cause and he dedicated most of his life to it.
  3. Let love win. Darth Vader eventually wanted to be loved, and Luke showed him love. HR wants to be loved (appreciated) and often times we’re not. So when you’re at work and you’re in a sour mood, remember to search your feelings and don’t be seduced by the dark side.
  4. Use the force. Now in the movie the force was an ancient religion that allowed the Jedi to do amazing things. Part of using the force is trusting your instincts and believing in your ability. You’ve got this. Nuff said.

Follow these steps and, in the end, you’ll be a bad-ass HR professional that the people will eventually cheer for!


This post was written by Chris Fields. Chris is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs at Cost of Work.   And he’s been a guest here a couple times before (Read those posts here and here).

Chris is my BFF — blogger friend forever! He is a great sounding-board, constant support and encourager, and all-around ride-or-die dude … I will finally get to meet IRL and hang out with him in 3 weeks at the Illinois SHRM Conference. And that is just another reason the event is going to be epic!

Contact Chris via email at chris@costofwork.com. And he’s known on the Twitters as @new_resource.


Don’t miss any of the posts in the “Star Wars” series:






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