The Worst Boss Ever, Yoda Would Be

Life size, angry, broken Yoda.

The Worst Boss Ever, Yoda Would Be

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. People worship Yoda as some Svengali or Jedi Master or something; but in all honesty, a pretty crappy boss he’d make, if at your job, he was in charge.

If you’re a Star Wars fanboy, you’re going to have to open your mind a bit here. I mean, think about it: he’s basically an irritable garden gnome; everything backwards, he says. Let’s be candid: even you wouldn’t want to work for Yoda. Don’t believe me? Let’s use Yoda’s own words to prove what a jerk to work for, he’d be.

The most obvious quote from Yoda that shows he’s an intolerable task master is arguably his most famous:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Imagine the shift manager at McDonald’s dropping that line on you while you’re cleaning the ladies room. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Something tells me he’d be the one holding the mop as you walked across the street to apply at Burger King.

Only an ass would talk this way to his team. Real leaders know that trying and failing is a major contributor to lasting success.

A Drinking Problem, Yoda Must Have

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

What? Does Yoda just like to hear himself talk? Why doesn’t fear lead straight to suffering? Why do we have to cycle through anger and hate? Moreover, everyone on the Dark Side appeared to do very little suffering. In fact, they seemed to have pretty good gigs, didn’t they?

With this statement, Manager Yoda is either trying too hard to sound brilliant or he’s drunk. Either way, ignore him. Deserve your attention, office blowhards do not.

Coughlin’s Law: Bury The Dead

No one will argue that Cocktail’s Doug Coughlin was a terrible manager; and if you still think Yoda would make an okay boss, how about this Coughlin-like gem:

“Death is a natural part of life… Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.”

Good luck getting Thursday and Friday off for your favorite Aunt’s funeral with this jerk. Displaying zero empathy, this 900-year-old green troll shows clearly that he cares little about anyone’s feelings. Perhaps this is because for 900 years, nothing he has felt.

Better off finding a boss with empathy, you are.

A Jedi Master, He Is Not

 “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see, the future is.”

This pretty much sums up the ineptness Yoda brings as a leader. Seriously, if he can’t use his powers for the common good, then what good is he? Teams turn to visionary leaders to help them see the future, but Yoda says this is “impossible?” What?

On top of that, his annoying speech pattern of ending a sentence with the verb apparently only applies when he feels like it? This quote should start out “Clouds everything, the dark side does;” except that it’s clear Yoda’s affectation is just that; an act. Nine hundred years to prepare for it, he’s had.

Great leaders provide guidance and clarity. Make excuses, they do not.

A Yoda Twofer:

“A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”


“To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.”

Soooooo…. Umm, is Yoda lying or stupid or both?

Please name me one Jedi who didn’t use the Force during an attack and I’ll show you a dead Jedi. This little munchkin lived for 900 years precisely because he gladly slaughtered others using the Force. Anyone recall Attack of the Clones where the eleven-pounder is jumping through the air swinging a light saber at Count Dooku?

Not only does Yoda use the Force for attack, but he does so with a furious anger (that apparently leads to hate and then suffering).

Yoda, The Negative Coaching Expert

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Anyone who knows leadership understands that this is called “Negative Coaching,” and it’s something great leaders never do (because it is wholly ineffective). Telling someone what they shouldn’t do, or to unlearn something, or to not think of something – and expecting success – is ludicrous. Their mind will be fixated on that which they have been told to unlearn.

Here’s a real-world example: Telling a youth hockey player not to shoot the puck at the goalie ensures every shot hits the goalie. Tell him to shoot the puck in an open spot and he’ll start seeing success.

Leaders lead their teams by helping them learn and helping them grow. They don’t speak in riddles and use negative coaching to confuse their padawans.

Yoda, The Arrogant Prick

“When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not.”

We’ve all worked for some jerk like this, haven’t we?

But, of course, great leaders aren’t egomaniacal hobgoblins. They have humility, and they would only say something like this in jest. Yoda meant it. Prick. ‘Nuff said.