Recruiters, which Star Wars character is your boss? Part 2: The Manipulator
Thursday November 3, 2016
Its fair to say that our industry attracts its fair share of sociopaths. Most of us are nice folk; even tempered and well adjusted. But then there are those amongst us who, to put it kindly, aren’t quite as balanced. And sometimes those individuals are actually quite good at recruitment. And one of the interesting traits of recruitment is that, regardless of which side of the sociopath line people sit, if they are good at recruiting they often get promoted into management roles.
So how do we categorise them? Star Wars of course. Although we like to think of ourselves as cheeky smugglers, starry-eyed farm boys or quick witted princesses, we also have to accept that many who hold positions of authority within our industry are in fact Sith Lords, Hutt Gangsters or riddle talking small green things (metaphorically speaking). So which of these Star Wars characters most resembles your recruitment manager? Last week we looked at The Motivator, this week we look at the creature known as …
To be fair, manipulators can be very productive managers. However, superficially amiable and generally likeable, their smiling exterior hides a devious, scheming sith lord inside. Focused only on their own career interests, The Manipulator cares for nobody and nothing but their own advancement. But you probably won’t know it, because they are quite good at manipulating and hiding their true intentions, until its too late and democracy has died in a hail of laser fire/ targets have been doubled etc. People who show dissent are maneuvered into roles where they can do no harm, those who cannot be manipulated are removed completely.
One common trait of The Manipulator is that he will often raise an apprentice from within the ranks, someone who can be manipulated into being the one who actually delivers bad news, who, through having their best intentions twisted into something darker, rules with an iron fist. When actual stuff needs doing The Manipulator is rarely there in person but has manipulated someone else into doing it.
They get results because results make them look good. Results help them move up the ladder. Results give them power and that is what they desire. To obtain this level and type of power The Manipulator needs to create an autocratic environment so they will gradually disassemble inclusive systems, structures and people. You might work for a company you love now but it will be a much darker place once The Manipulator has risen to dominance.
So whether it is creepily grooming young padawans into evil doers, disbanding republic senates or blaming poor sales on their unsuspecting peers, The Manipulator is to be avoided at all costs.
What to do
Get out now. The company you love will soon be transformed into a place of fear, blame and darkness. With every passing moment you make yourself more The Manipulator’s servant. The Manipulator is smarter than you, can plan better than you and cares nothing for you. If you stand between him and his rise to power you are screwed. Stay and one day you’ll find yourself confronted by a former friend manipulated into executing their own equivalent of Order 66* while the Manipulator chuckles menacingly in a far off, darkened throne room/corner office. He probably can’t shoot lightning out of his fingers in real life, but he can destroy the company you like working for and make your life hell if he wants to
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Next week we look at The Bumbler.
*for the less geeky amongst you Order 66 is where all those nice clone trooper chaps suddenly turn on and kill all their former Jedi pals.