Strategies. Life is full of them. And they seem to be spreading like a clone army. Everywhere I turn, I see and hear people talking about them. At work and at home. From strategies for building customer relationships to taking out the trash.
It got me thinking. If everything is strategic, what does that mean for the other 23 hours 59 minutes of the day. What is strategic and what isn’t?
It was just “May the 4th be with you”. And as a fellow Star Wars nerd, I thought I’d test out this question on the greatest science fiction story of all time. So I asked myself, “What did the Emperor ask Darth Vader when he wanted to take over the Galactic Empire.” Did he ask ol’ Darth to create a Star Wars Strategy and brief him with a powerpoint presentation?
More importantly, just in the middle between Galactic domination and the Rebel Alliance, how did Darth know if he was really being strategic? After watching Star Wars 1,000 times, here’s what I believe was Darth’s 5 point checklist to ensure his pursuits were strategic.
Do you have to say No?
Being intentional requires a trade off. You can’t be a Jedi Master and join the dark side too. It’s not strategic unless it requires you to say No to something else.
Does it require secrecy?
If your plans end up on R2-D2, projected into a hollogram for the world to see, you’re in trouble. People will either duplicate it or destroy it.
Do you have to create two or more of something?
For your strategy to work, you need a backup plan and a backup to the backup plan. One Death Star is good, two Death Stars are essential in case Luke gets in a lucky shot.
Does it require a mass movement?
Getting 1,000,000 storm troopers to coordinate their wardrobe and march in line takes work.
Is it an ongoing effort?
The Death Star was a single step. But keeping control of the Empire required adaptive and constant thinking. Strategies don’t end, they evolve.
What are you doing with your day? Are you blinded by the ambiguity of strategy? Next time you’re asked to create a strategy, grab your light saber and develop a Star Wars strategy instead.