Open Letter to the Tribal Leadership Community

You are a diverse and fascinating bunch, capable of just about anything, and I’m hoping you can help me do something important: get me an interview with George Lucas. This is for my next book, tentatively titled The Dark Side of Leadership.

I want to ask George Lucas how, in his view, the Jedi will be different after the arc of the six movies. A premise of the book is that when people lack contact with their “dark side,” they are “pale of soul,” in the words of a famous Carl Jung scholar. They come across as mild, without passion—a bit like Jimmy Carter when he was president. They are ineffective, and easily taken out by people using Machiavellian techniques. Likewise, people who are overwhelmed by their dark side fall into blindness and self-destruction, but before their end, they are powerful. A central concern of leadership is how to find one’s dark side and form a permanent tension with it, without being possessed by it.

People have used mythology to understand good and evil as long as there have been cave dwellers. Joseph Campbell synthesized these myths, and George Lucas has developed the single most influential myth of the modern age, and I believe many people have missed his point. Anakin was “the one” who was prophesied to bring balance to the Force—a lot like I hope my book will bring balance to leadership. The question that only George Lucas can answer is: What does a balanced Force look like, and how would this balancing epic change how its devotees live?

This subject is of critical importance in today’s world. In 2008, the world economy went to the brink because the financial markets had fallen victim to the blindness of the dark side. Thousands lost their savings in the Madoff affair—another dark side story. Just as important, we lack leaders who have the gravitas that only the dark side can offer, and yet have not fallen victim to the corruption of their baser instincts.

If you know anyone who can help make this connection happen, please let me know. My email is [email protected].

Thank you. Your impact as Tribal Leaders inspires me every day.


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