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Ruthless power tips from Monty Burns

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Think you’re a pretty big wheel, eh? Forget it, you piker! You’ll never be a leader on the order of that liver-spotted captain of industry, Mr. Burns.

If you haven’t heard of him, it’s time you met Monty Burns, owner and CEO of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and employer of doughnut eating nincompoop Homer Simpson.

Here are some pointers from Burns for staying on top of the slag pile:

Employ positive PR. When a mutant three-eyed fish turns up in the contaminated water near his plant, Burns goes on TV promoting “my little friend here, Blinky,” who “might have an advantage over other fish. It may, in fact be a kind of super fish!” After averting a meltdown, the smooth-talking Burns tells a TV reporter, “Oh, ‘meltdown.’ It’s one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an ‘unrequested fission surplus.’”

Use your power for good ... yours. The trap door in front of Burns’s desk is to him as ordinary and practical as a staple gun. “What good is money,” he asks, “if you can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?”

Manage by stalking around. Burns may refer to his employees as “goldbrickers,” “layabouts” and “slugabeds,” yet he ambles among them engaging in upbeat banter: “Why, look who’s here! It’s … good old …you! Oh, hey, there, Mr. uh …Brown-Shoes! How about that …local sports team!”

Seize opportunities. Warned that plastic six-pack holders might ensnare sea animals, Burns sews together a million of them into “the Burns Omni-net. It sweeps the sea clean!” He then converts his catch of whales, lobsters and everything into a high-protein slurry that doubles as animal feed and “insulation for low-income housing.”

Know your people. Burns discerns the kinds of benefits and incentives his employees really want. Example: He replaces their dental plan with a free keg of beer at union meetings. (And they accept.)

— Adapted from “Tycoon Tips from C. Montgomery Burns,” Ralph Kinney Bennett, Regardie’s Power.

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