The Force In Business: The Rise of the Chief Jedi Officer

Disclaimer: I am not a Star Wars Fangirl (don’t hate me). I have done my best not to post any spoilers here, but I really have no idea what is meaningful to the trilogy or storylines of the film from a fan’s perspective. So, as Yoda would say, “Warned, you have been.” 

This weekend, I was reluctantly dragged to go see the new Star Wars Film, Rise of Skywalker. I am in no way a hardcore fan, but I am a dedicated wife, so I went to make my husband happy. 

As we were leaving the theater, I commented to my husband, “You know, Star Wars is bringing some amazing awareness to the power of mindfulness and meditation.” 

He did not look convinced. Nor did he look like he cared about my insightful revelation. 

Wrong audience, I suppose.

The Force Is Always with You

Despite my husband’s lack of response, I still felt like I was onto something. So I figured I’d try again with the business world. 

Here’s my argument: I believe the “force,” as well as the light side and dark side, do not exist solely inside the Star Wars universe. They are very present in our own daily lives, both personally and professionally.

Who’s with me??

Turns out, lots of people. As I headed for the internet, I discovered some clients were already discussing the matter on social media: 

Roxanne’s comment made me reflect on the definition of “force” the movie offers. 

In the film, there is a scene between the main character and her mentor. The main character describes the “force” as this magical power that a Jedi harnesses and uses. The mentor corrects her, stating that “force” is simply the energy that exists between anything and everything in the universe. 

Seems like Roxanne nailed it by saying, “Force is not required…” because the force is always already present. 

Look for the Potential

When it comes to professional interactions, I see “force” as the unspoken or unrealized potential of any professional interaction. So if you’re distracted by mental Star Wars images every time you use the word “force,” I suggest trying the word “potential” instead. 

When the “force,” or “potential,” of a business interaction goes well, we end up with a multi-million dollar contract. When the “potential” goes poorly, we end up flying halfway around the world for a business meeting that yields nothing. 

Sometimes it feels like you have no control over your potential. But just like the Jedi masters, you can learn to influence your experience. To shift the results you experience, all you need to do is adjust your mindset and the way you engage with the potential in each moment. 

Using the Force Wisely in Business

The question is, how do we embrace the force in business? The movie answers this question, too.

There is a part of the film where the evil dude says something along the lines of, “If you kill me out of anger and hatred, then you will become all of the bad things I am.” This bold statement made me pause; I knew there was a deeper message beneath the scene. 

In business, we’re frequently told what you do matters less than why you do it. Subaru is a great example of a company that gets this concept. They’re aware that car manufacturers generally make cars with the goal of selling cars and profiting (shocking!). But Subaru takes a different approach. 

Yes, of course Subaru, like every other car manufacturer out there, makes cars to sell cars and make money. AND, they make a difference through their very public donations and support of specific causes. 

Because Subaru is intentional about why they are trying to sell cars, I believe they end up selling more cars. 

In business, if you do what you do just to make money no matter the cost, you risk “forcing” your business relationships. I use the word “force” here with the meaning we discussed above, describing the potential and energy that exists between two things (you, the business owner, and them, the client). 

If the energy you exchange with your client is pushy or aggressive, your result may reflect the DARK rather than the light. But if you approach each energetic exchange with the intention of doing what is in the best interest of your client with the genuine hope of delivering what they need, you can expect more LIGHT outcomes. 

Here are a few examples of possible light and dark business outcomes:

Light Outcomes Dark Outcomes
Repeat customers Damaged reputation
Strategic partners Continuous paid advertising
Word-of-mouth referrals Higher marketing spending
Less stress for team and owner Burnout
5-star reviews Poor reviews

True to You, Always Be

One of the easiest ways to bring more light experiences into your life and business is to be true to yourself. The film illustrates this point well, too. To succeed, the main character must be absolutely true to herself. As she seeks more clarity about her childhood, she ends up more empowered and confident in who she is. This confidence boost allows her to become more in tune with her inner energy, her own potential, and her ability to make a powerful difference.

People love authentic interaction. Historically, you will find that companies who put people first – prioritizing their team and their clients rather than shareholders or greed – usually end up being the healthiest and longest-lasting companies. There are companies and individuals who do things in a dark way (treating their employees horribly, putting more emphasis on quantity instead of quality, engaging in aggressive behaviors, etc.), but often these companies are only successful in the short term. 

In other words, the more connected you are with your purpose, and the more you act with integrity by honoring your authentic self, the more valuable you become to the world. 

Just as the main character in the Star Wars film grew more powerful the more she stepped into her purpose and clarity, so will you and your team. 

Ironically, I originally planned for my closing message to be “don’t force it.” However, given where this blog took me, I will instead urge you to get in tune with the force. Relax into the flow of your mission, both personally and professionally. Connect deeply with others who share your passion and align with your potential. Grow more powerful by stepping into yourself and embracing the light side of doing business. 

Fair warning: It’s not always easy to live in the light – the dark side of business can be incredibly tempting (I hear they have cookies over there!). 

But if you are here, reading this, then I already know you are a different kind of business Jedi. The force is strong with you. And because of it, you will make this world a better place. 

P.S. Are you a mega Star Wars fan? Did you dig this business-y Star Wars blog? Are there other business messages Star Wars has taught you? Comment below to share!

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