Management secrets of Darth Vader

Actually some of these tips are old hat to some managers I’ve seen.

I remember when I worked for a building society in England, I sent my manager an email criticising some of the convoluted language in a memo that had gone out a couple of days after we’d been exhorted to use plain English.

She told me the next day that BD, her manager wanted to see me. Now.

I went to BD’s plush office and it was pure theatre.  He stood with his back to me, framed in his window overlooking, well, the car park. He said ‘I heard you weren’t happy with the memo that went out yesterday.  That’s a shame considering …’  BD turned to face me ‘ … that I wrote it’.

After I’d got over my shock (at his cheek, not his reprimand) I explained what I thought was wrong with the memo. He relaxed but we parted with him rather patronisingly saying he’d run any future memos past me. If the expression ‘yeah, right’ had been current at the time I’d have thought it.  I heard later he was an amateur actor. Maybe he thought he was drawing on the Dark Side.

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