Star Chores – The Last Head-High


By: Dr. Adam Stoehr,          Part 2 of 3          January 10, 2018

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. The First Hoarders reign. Having decimated the excellence strategies, the CEO, Supreme Leader Joke now deploys his merciless legions to seize control of the organization with the help of his henchman Silo When. Only Chief People Officer Leia Organi’s band of Excellence managers stand against the rising tyranny, certain that Head-High Master Luke Cryblocker will return and restore a spark of hope to the fight. But the Resistance has been exposed. As the First Hoarders plot to trap the managers in top-down redundancy protocols, the brave excellence heroes mount a desperate escape...."

Pep, a highly force sensitive manager from HR, finally met with Head-high Master Luke Cryblocker at his office on the remote Ahch-To street. Luke refused to initiate her training in the ways of the Excellence Force because of his past failure when teaching Silo When. Luke eventually agrees to teach Pep, showing her the ancient EIW texts known as Star Chores within the first Head-high library and telling her to embrace the view that the Work Force is defined between the light (collaborative leadership) and the dark (Top down, command and control leadership) side. Luke is deeply perturbed by her lack of caution when approaching the dark side.

“I need someone to show me my place in all of this.” said Pep

"This is not going to go the way you think.”  said Luke.

“What do you know about the force?” asked Luke

“It's like a power that the Leaders have that lets them control people in an organization and... makes things more successful and profitable.” replied Pep

“Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.” said Luke

The light side of the force (Table 1) is when leaders at all levels of the organization are working collaboratively. It’s when they keep their Heads-High, together.  Luke was worried that he was in fact the last of the Head-high.

Working with Pep may have changed his mind.  Luke thought back to when he started in the Workforce as a young apprentice.  His mentor John Yodaminsky (who his close friends called Yoda) taught him all he knew about the Head-high and the light side of the workforce. Yoda had a strange way of talking but he really was good at making memorable points.  Yoda would say things like: “We are what we grow beyond.” and “The greatest teacher, failure is.”  Luke was determined to learn from his failed attempt at training Silo When. It was time to teach Pep about the true power of the work force.  Luke had to teach Pep in a way that didn’t bore her to death.  As Yoda always said about the ancient EIW Star Chores texts. “Page turners, they are not.”

Table 1:
Light Side/ Collaborative Leadership
  • Heads high together
  • Leaders at all levels working together to solve problems
  • Build a community within which staff feel comfortable to reach out to one another and share ideas, share their experiences, and together co-create new solutions to enhance services.
  • Front line staff are active participants in leading the organization towards goals and objective

 “What do you see inside you?” Asked Luke

“Inside me I see a force. Something inside me has always been there, but now it's awake and I need help.” said Pep

I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now.” said Luke

The dark side of the force (Table 2) is when leaders let their title go to their heads.  Dark side leaders keep their heads down and rely on hierarchy and position to wield their power.  When the dark side is strong the organization suffers.  Satisfaction is low.  Engagement is low.  Morale is low.  When the dark side takes hold of an organization it’s very difficult (but not impossible) to bring it back to the light. 

Table 2:
Dark Side/ Command and Control Leadership
  • Heads down in Silos
  • Leaders use titles and hierarchy to show authority
  • Leaders attempt to solve problems in isolation
  • Builds a community of entitlement, frustration, and fear
  • Front line staff are not involved in leadership for the organization

Unable to convince Luke to join the Resistance, Pep leaves to meet with Silo When back at her office, hoping to turn him to the light side.  Luke is content with the fact that the most important lessons that Head-High masters can give are their failures.

Pep arrives at the office and waits for her meeting with Silo When.  To her surprise, both Silo When and the CEO of her company, Supreme Leader Joke were there for the meeting. It turned into quite a confrontation about the leadership style of the organization.  Accusations and insults firing back and forth at each other like lasers and sabers clashing from your favourite science fiction movie.  At one point, Joke commanded Silo to fire Pep, but instead Silo surprisingly turns on Joke and showed that he had Board approval to fire the Supreme Leader and take his place. 

In the aftermath, Silo asks Pep to rule the organization with him, but Pep refused, and asked him to join the Resistance. She gives him a copy of the EIW standard Star Chores and he immediately riped the sacred document into two pieces.

“The Tactic Empire, the Resistance, the Head-High... let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That's the only way to become what you are meant to be.” said Silo

Pep leaves the office will little hope and heads over to HR to update Leia Organi on the recent developments.  Pep arrives to a full resistance meeting with all the Excellence managers in attendance.  She gives them an update and they inform her that Silo When is on his way to confront them with a group of First Hoarders.  A battle of words like they’ve never seen before is about to take place.  A glimmer of hope remains in this organization.

“Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it, you'll never make it through the night.” said Leia

“This is how we win. Not by fighting what we hate, but by saving what we love.” Said one of the Excellence managers.

On one side of the room we have Silo and his band of First Hoarders.  On the other side of the room we have Leia, Pep and the Excellence managers.  They are deep in debate and arguments about leadership styles and the EIW standard Star Chores when suddenly Luke Cryblocker enters the room.  It’s been many years since he has stepped inside these walls. 

“Did you come back to say you forgive me? To save my soul?” asked Silo.

“No. I failed you, Silo. I'm sorry.” replied Luke.

“I'm sure you are! The Resistance is dead, hierarchy is in tact, my voice as leader is the only one that matters, and when I send you back to obscurity, I will have destroyed the last Head-High!” said Silo.

“Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong. Collaborative leadership is reborn today. With leaders in every room we can’t stop the light.  With the light side of the force each person would eventually be connected to every other person. The effort is just beginning. The light side will rule. And I will not be the last Head-High.” said Luke

“See you around, kid.” (Luke seemed to vanish as he exits the room so quickly)

The meeting is over. Leia, reassures everyone that the excellence resistance now has all that is needed to rise again. Pep is hopeful and has learned from Luke’s failures. 

Back on the front lines, a young intern with his head up high, confidently shared the process improvement ideas of his team with a group of executives that were keenly interested. Luke was definitely not the last.

 


Next and final episode coming December 2019.

Download a copy of the EIW Standard to learn the ways of the Head-high:  https://www.excellence.ca/en/pr/dl-eiwstandard

Check out the latest Excellence Canada Training:  http://excellence.ca/en/training-and-consulting/


Author Information

Adam  Stoehr, PhD

Adam Stoehr, PhD