In honor of the new “Star Wars” movie coming out I’m chiming in on the age old question, would you rather be loved or feared? Love builds. Fear destroys. You can build relationships on love, not fear. Fear may push you on but love leads you forward. I choose the style of John Wooden to that of Bobby Knight. I choose Winston Churchill over Stalin, Mao or Hitler and other Machiavelli lovin’ despots. Fear only lasts as long as the despot / manager has the stick. Once Saddam was toppled, Iraqis were no longer afraid and his statues to himself fell about as fast as Iraq to the U.S. Forces, if not faster.

“Leadership is about more than just forcing people to do what you say. A prison guard does that. A good leader creates belief”. John Wooden.

Would you rather work for Yoda or Vader? Of course you would work {with} Yoda, not {for} Vader.

Yoda is a beloved teacher. Vader is, well, a Sith Lord. My choice is to work with employees and to lead versus dictate and have people work FOR me. We work together. Whereas, Vader is like any other bad manager from the dark side. His boss, The Emperor, pisses on him (actually he shoots lightning bolts at him). Then Vader pisses on those below him (or chokes them) in a desperate attempt to keep the troops in line. Shit rolls downhill in bad companies. A good leader compartmentalizes and then shoulders the blame and spreads praise down the line.

“The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers”. Princess Leia

In short, I choose Yoda over Vader. What you choose is the culture of your organization.