Dirty South Mashup: Leadership Lessons from Walter White
Today’s post is brought to us courtesy of Chris Fields. He is an HR professional and Expert Resume Writer with over 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites; CostofWork.com andThe ResumeCrusade and contributes HR focused content to many others, including PerformanceIcreate.com and SmartRecruiters.
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Breaking Bad will go down as one of the best shows in American television history and I am not saying that lightly. I love a show that has character development, exciting plots twists, strategy and evokes emotion. I did not start out as a fan of the show, my friend Melissa Fairman, who curates the HRremix.com website, introduced me to it. I hadn’t watched a single episode until the summer of 2013. I binged watched the show – that’s how good it is. I got caught up when the series finale was airing – which was perfect by the way.
If you have not watched the show – shame on you and I hope you can follow this article. I will not give you too much history because you need to watch it for yourself. Melissa and I thought it would be cool to discuss leadership lesson from Walter White (the main character) who has done a lot of bad and a little good. I’m tackling the good, Melissa’s got the bad and you can read it here (but after you read the good).
Okay, let’s go. Walter White made plenty of mistakes along the way from poverty to becoming a multi-millionaire by manufacturing, selling and distributing crystal meth or “ice” as it’s known on the streets. But how does this happen? How does a nice husband and father, providing for his family with 2 jobs to make ends meet become a murderous drug dealer? Well there’s the rub!
Murder = bad, so I won’t talk about that. But Walter had good intentions – but you know what they say about good intentions, right? The road to hell is paved with them.
Here are 6 good leadership lessons from Walter White.
A great leader is a great provider. They know what is needed and they make tough decisions to reach those goals. Sometimes they have to make unethical decisions – decisions for the greater good. Just like a DEA officer has to kill people in order to save lives. Walter White did whatever he had to do to provide for his family and protect the ones he loved – which included blowing half of someone’s face off.
In HR we talk about vision all the time. Leaders need to have vision – companies need a vision statement – you need to tie all your procedures into the vision. Well, Walter White had a vision too. He had a superior product and he visualized getting it to the masses. It’s really no different than me with my HR content and resume writing services – I want to get my products to the world and make a barrel o’ cash! Nothing wrong with that!
This works in concert with the vision. Walter knew his product “meth” was better than anything else on the market. He used that fact to create partnerships and increase his value. He also used it make a ton of money but he had to have confidence in his ability to create a superior product and his ability set and achieve high standards.
Another great thing about White, he was extremely dedicated. Dedicated to his family. Dedicated to his friend and partner, Jessie. Dedicated to his craft.
He was always a step ahead of his foes and his brother in law who was a FED. He could figure out the next move and he was anything but predictable. Same traits you need to competitive in the business world – you have to be able to anticipate what’s next and create strategies to keep your company moving forward.
Walter White was very intelligent – brilliant actually. He was a brilliant chemistry teacher – he knew chemicals, math, logic and human behavior. He used his brilliance and creativity in a variety of ways, some good and some not so good but the point being he was smart and it takes smarts to be a great leader.
Welp, that’s all I got. Now check out the bad stuff…