Now there’s a provocative title isn’t it? In the world of leaders, almost no one would consider a gang leader as being anything other than despicable. I’d agree with that statement, whether we’re talking street gangs or organized crime.


And yet, one can’t deny that gang leaders seem to garner great power and authority, moreso than most people in legitimate businesses. Think about it; people will lie, kill, and go to jail rather than let something happen to the leader. Trust me, it’s not always fear that keeps people quiet either.

If you step back and think about it for awhile, you can see that there are some fairly basic things that gang leaders do or have done that most leaders in other industries haven’t done. Therefore, in some ways they end up with better leadership skills than most other managers and leaders. Okay, most of what they do is extreme; still, it doesn’t hurt to see what they do that you’re not doing, as we take a look at these 5 examples.

1. Gang leaders show their subordinates exactly what they could get out of the business if they apply themselves. Gang leaders live pretty well. Even in street gangs they have lots of money, and they show it. Cars, jewelry and power; it’s there for everyone to see. In many businesses, employees never really see the people at the top; that needs to change.

2. Gang leaders know everything that’s going on within their environment. They know the names of every single person working for them. They know the family history and what’s going on with them. They know where they are at a moment’s notice because they make sure that those who report directly to them know what’s going on as well.

3. They know what’s going on in their industry. They know what their competitors are doing and work hard to either keep up with them or stay ahead of them. They know their product and their customers and what their needs are.

4. They believe in a lot of training and procedures. They make sure that everyone is trained on the product so they can market it better. They know that there needs to be processes for everyone to follow and to never deviate from.

5. They know how to build strong, loyal teams. The thing about this is that it’s not always about money, just like regular businesses, and they know it. The leaders can get their members to feel proud of colors, or tattoos, or even location. They throw parties, give gifts, and make sure others know it’s going on. They talk family and have ceremonies when someone gets promoted.

In some minds these comparisons might seem a bit insulting but I come by them honest. I read a book some years ago that actually highlights these types of comparisons and more, and it was written by a guy named Pimpin’ Ken, a real life former pimp who wrote a book called Pimpology. It’s a fascinating read and you come away realizing that there really are lessons one can learn from strange places.

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